Detection of glucocorticoid bioactivity in bovine urine samples using a reporter gene assay.

Lisa Connolly, K. Cai, E. Van Der Heiden, M.L. Scippo, M. Muller, J. Tarbin, Christopher Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The illegal use of anabolic substances in the meat producing industry is an ongoing problem due to the continual production of new synthetic compounds and/or the practice of low-level cocktail administration to avoid detection by the surveillance schemes of EU member states National Plan surveillance systems.

We present a highly sensitive reporter gene assay and sample extraction procedure based on a two step solid phase extraction and high performance liquid chromatography, developed for the detection of glucocorticoid abuse in bovine urine. The assay is capable of detecting compounds with glucocorticoid bioactivity and is extremely sensitive with an EC50 of 0.79 ng mL-1 for dexamethasone. New or unknown compounds with glucocorticoid bioactivity and low-level cocktail mixtures are detectable by this assay.

Cross-reactivity data for a range of 11ß-hydroxyglucocorticoids has been provided. This assay shows low interference from the 11-keto prohormones and other steroidal hormones. The assay may be suitable for application in other matrices such as hair. In conclusion this screening assay offers advantages over existing analytical techniques.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-327
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Environmental Chemistry


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