Product(s) used in this publication: Absolutely Quantified Peptides SpikeTides™ TQL
The aim of this study was to develop a novel method to detect circulating histones H3 and H2B in plasma based on multiple reaction monitoring targeted mass spectrometry and a multiple reaction monitoring approach (MRM-MS) for its clinical application in critical bacteriaemic septic shock patients. Plasma samples from 17 septic shock patients with confirmed bacteraemia and 10 healthy controls were analysed by an MRM-MS method, which specifically detects presence of histones H3 and H2B. By an internal standard, it was possible to quantify the concentration of circulating histones in plasma, which were significantly higher in patients, and thus confirmed their potential as biomarkers for diagnosing septic shock. After comparing surviving patients and non-survivors, a correlation was found between higher levels of circulating histones and unfavourable outcome. Indeed, histone H3 proved a more efficient and sensitive biomarker for septic shock prognosis. In conclusion, these findings suggest the accuracy of the MRM-MS technique and stable isotope labelled peptides to detect and quantify circulating plasma histones H2B and H3. This method may be used for early septic shock diagnoses and for the prognosis of fatal outcomes.