Lipidomics of oxidized polyunsaturated fatty acids

Karen A. Massey, Anna Nicolaou

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Lipid mediators are produced from the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids through enzymatic and free radical-mediated reactions. When subject to oxygenation via cyclooxygenases, lipoxygenases, and cytochrome P450 monooxygenases, polyunsaturated fatty acids give rise to an array of metabolites including eicosanoids, docosanoids, and octadecanoids. These potent bioactive lipids are involved in many biochemical and signaling pathways, with inflammation being of particular importance. Moreover, because they are produced by more than one pathway and substrate, and are present in a variety of biological milieus, their analysis is not always possible with conventional assays. Liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray mass spectrometry offers a versatile and sensitive approach for the analysis of bioactive lipids, allowing specific and accurate quantitation of multiple species present in the same sample. Here we explain the principles of this approach to mediator lipidomics and present detailed protocols for the assay of enzymatically produced oxygenated metabolites of polyunsaturated fatty acids that can be tailored to answer biological questions or facilitate assessment of nutritional and pharmacological interventions. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-55
    Number of pages10
    JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


    • Bioactive lipids
    • Cyclooxygenase
    • Cytochrome P450
    • Docosanoids
    • Eicosanoids
    • Free radicals
    • Lipoxygenase
    • Octadecanoids
    • Tandem mass spectrometry


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