A high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry assay of the androgenic neurosteroid 3alpha-androstanediol (5alpha-androstane-3alpha,17beta-diol) in plasma. Academic Article uri icon


  • The testosterone metabolite 3alpha-androstanediol (5alpha-androstane-3alpha,17-diol) is a potential GABA(A) receptor-modulating neurosteroid with anticonvulsant properties and hence could act as a key neuromodulator in the central nervous system. However, there is no specific and sensitive assay for quantitative determination of the androgenic neurosteroid 3alpha-androstanediol in biological samples. We have established a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) assay to measure 3alpha-androstanediol in rat plasma. Standard 3alpha-androstanediol added to rat plasma has been successfully analysed with excellent linearity, specificity, sensitivity, and reproducibility. The sensitivity of the method was < 10 ng/ml with a detection limit of 2 ng/ml (6.8 nmol/l) and a linear range of 10-2000 ng/ml. The method was used for the analysis of testosterone-induced increase in plasma 3alpha-androstanediol levels in rats. Testosterone produced a dose-dependent elevation in plasma 3alpha-androstanediol, which was almost completely prevented by pretreatment with the 5alpha-reductase inhibitor finasteride, indicating that 3alpha-androstanediol is synthesized from testosterone via a 5alpha-reductase pathway. This LC-MS-MS method allows accurate, high-throughput analysis of 3alpha-androstanediol in small amounts (200 microl) of plasma and possibly other biological samples.

published proceedings

  • Steroids

author list (cited authors)

  • Reddy, D. S., Venkatarangan, L., Chien, B., & Ramu, K.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Reddy, Doodipala S||Venkatarangan, Lata||Chien, Benjamin||Ramu, Kumar

publication date

  • December 2005