Holst BS, Kushnir MM, Bergquist J
Vet Clin Pathol 44 (4) 552-558 [2015-12-00; online 2015-11-23]
Blood samples from dogs are often limited in volume, only allowing few steroids to be quantified with immunoassays. In addition, immunoassays may be compromised by interferences such as anti-reagent antibodies. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) can be used for the simultaneous quantitation of several steroids. This has not been described in dogs before. The aims were to use LC-MS/MS to study steroid profiles in early pregnancy and luteal phase in dogs, and to determine if differences exist between pregnant (P) and nonpregnant (NP) dogs. Nine female dogs were included, 4 during a NP luteal phase, 4 during a P luteal phase, and one during one NP and one P luteal phase. Blood samples were collected around the time of the LH surge (Day 0) and on Day 26. Serum was analyzed for 5 classes of steroids, including glucocorticoids, androgens, estrogens, pregnanes, and progestins, using LC-MS/MS methods. The concentration of progesterone was significantly higher on Day 26 in P than in NP bitches. Distribution of concentrations of glucocorticoids, androgens, estrogens, or pregnanes in P and NP dogs were not statistically different. The predominating glucocorticoid was cortisol, and dihydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) was the predominating androgen. Concentration of estrone was comparable to oestradiol, whereas concentrations of pregnenolone were higher than those of 17-OH pregnenolone. Only concentration of progesterone differed between P and NP bitches, being significantly higher on Day 26 in P than in NP bitches. LC-MS/MS offers interesting possibilities for studies of canine reproductive endocrinology.