Determination of metformin bio-distribution by LC-MS/MS in mice treated with a clinically relevant paradigm




Chaudhari, Kiran
Wang, Jianmei
Xu, Yong
Winters, Ali
Wang, Linshu
Dong, Xiaowei
Cheng, Eric Y.
Liu, Ran
Yang, Shaohua


0000-0001-9336-2593 (Cheng, Eric Yi-Qiang)
0000-0002-3882-0616 (Liu, Ran)
0000-0002-0405-0887 (Yang, Shaohua)

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title




Metformin, an anti-diabetes drug, has been recently emerging as a potential "anti-aging" intervention based on its reported beneficial actions against aging in preclinical studies. Nonetheless, very few metformin studies using mice have determined metformin concentrations and many effects of metformin have been observed in preclinical studies using doses/concentrations that were not relevant to therapeutic levels in human. We developed a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry protocol for metformin measurement in plasma, liver, brain, kidney, and muscle of mice. Young adult male and female C57BL/6 mice were voluntarily treated with metformin of 4 mg/ml in drinking water which translated to the maximum dose of 2.5 g/day in humans. A clinically relevant steady-state plasma metformin concentrations were achieved at 7 and 30 days after treatment in male and female mice. Metformin concentrations were slightly higher in muscle than in plasma, while, ~3 and 6-fold higher in the liver and kidney than in plasma, respectively. Low metformin concentration was found in the brain at ~20% of the plasma level. Furthermore, gender difference in steady-state metformin bio-distribution was observed. Our study established steady-state metformin levels in plasma, liver, muscle, kidney, and brain of normoglycemic mice treated with a clinically relevant dose, providing insight into future metformin preclinical studies for potential clinical translation.



Chaudhari, K., Wang, J., Xu, Y., Winters, A., Wang, L., Dong, X., Cheng, E. Y., Liu, R., & Yang, S. H. (2020). Determination of metformin bio-distribution by LC-MS/MS in mice treated with a clinically relevant paradigm. PloS one, 15(6), e0234571.


© 2020 Chaudhari et al.


Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)