Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 406, Issue 12, pp 2827–2839 | Cite as

Lipidomic analysis of polyunsaturated fatty acids and their oxygenated metabolites in plasma by solid-phase extraction followed by LC-MS

  • Gabriel Dasilva
  • Manuel Pazos
  • José M. Gallardo
  • Isaac Rodríguez
  • Rafael Cela
  • Isabel Medina
Research Paper


The present work describes the development of a robust and sensitive targeted analysis platform for the simultaneous quantification in blood plasma of lipid oxygenated mediators and fatty acids using solid-phase extraction (SPE) and high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS). The concurrent analysis of these lipid mediators is challenging because of their instability, differences in solubility, and the frequent occurrence of isobaric forms with similar fragmentation patterns. Results demonstrated that the reduction of SPE temperature to 4 °C is a critical parameter for preserving the hydroperoxy derivatives. Polymeric HLB cartridges increased 40–50 % ARA, EPA, and DHA sensitivity compared to C18 sorbent and also provided higher global performance for most hydroxides and other oxidation products. The proposed method for the two tested mass analyzers yields high sensitivity, good linearity, and reproducibility, with detection limits ranging 0.002–7 ng/mL and global recoveries as high as 85–112 %. However, the additional advantage of the linear ion trap (LIT) mass analyzer working in full scan product ion mode, compared to the triple quadrupole (QqQ) operating in multiple reaction monitoring (MRM), should be noted: the full scan product ion mode provides the full fragmentation spectra of compounds that allowed the discrimination of coeluting isomers and false positive identifications without additional chromatography development. The proposed lipidomic procedure demonstrates a confident, simple, and sensitive method to profile in plasma a wide range of lipid eicosanoid and docosanoid mediators, including innovatively the analysis of hydroperoxy congeners and nonoxidized PUFA precursors.


Oxygenated lipid mediators Solid-phase extraction Liquid chromatography Mass spectrometry Triple quadrupole Ion trap 



This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Grants AGL2009-12374-C03-01, AGL2009-12374-C03-02, and AGL2009-12374-C03-03). The Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC) are gratefully acknowledged for the doctoral fellowship to Gabriel Dasilva. Xunta de Galicia and European Social Fund are also thankfully recognized for their financial support of the postdoctoral “Isidro Parga Pondal” contract to Manuel Pazos.

Supplementary material

216_2014_7701_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (757 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 757 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriel Dasilva
    • 1
  • Manuel Pazos
    • 1
  • José M. Gallardo
    • 1
  • Isaac Rodríguez
    • 2
  • Rafael Cela
    • 2
  • Isabel Medina
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IIM-CSIC)VigoSpain
  2. 2.Department of Analytical Chemistry, Nutrition and Bromatology, Research Institute for Food Analysis (I.I.A.A.)University of Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain

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