Lipidomics pp 161-187 | Cite as

HPLC/MS/MS-Based Approaches for Detection and Quantification of Eicosanoids

  • Susanna L. Lundström
  • Fabio L. D’Alexandri
  • Kasem Nithipatikom
  • Jesper Z. Haeggström
  • Åsa M. Wheelock
  • Craig E. Wheelock
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 579)


Eicosanoids are oxygenated, endogenous, unsaturated fatty acids derived from arachidonic acid. Detection and quantification of these compounds are of great interest because they play important roles in a number of significant diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Because the endogenous levels of eicosanoids are quite low, sensitive and specific analytical methods are required to reliably quantify these compounds. High-performance liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS) has emerged as one of the main techniques used in eicosanoid profiling. Herein, we describe the main LC/MS techniques and principles as well as their application in eicosanoid analysis. In addition, a protocol is given for extracting eicosanoids from biological samples, using bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) as an example. The method and instrument optimization procedures are presented, followed by the analysis of eicosanoid standards using reverse phase HPLC interfaced with an ion trap mass spectrometer (LC/MS/MS). This protocol is intended to provide a broad description of the field for readers looking for an introduction to the methodologies involved in eicosanoid quantification.

Key words

Eicosanoid Oxylipin Arachidonic acid Mass spectrometry Electrospray Ion trap LC/MS/MS Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid BALF 



We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Malin Nording, Katrin Georgi, Jun Yang, and Pavel Aronov for helpful discussions and critical reading of the manuscript. This research was supported by The Åke Wibergs Stiftelse, the Fredrik and Ingrid Thurings Stiftelse, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, The Swedish Council for Strategic Research, and The Swedish Research Council and the European Commission. C.E.W. was supported by a fellowship from the Centre for Allergy Research (Cfa). S. L. L. was supported by the Osher Initiative for severe Asthma.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanna L. Lundström
    • 1
  • Fabio L. D’Alexandri
    • 1
  • Kasem Nithipatikom
    • 2
  • Jesper Z. Haeggström
    • 1
  • Åsa M. Wheelock
    • 3
  • Craig E. Wheelock
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Division of Physiological Chemistry IIKarolinska InstituteStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Department of Pharmacology and ToxicologyMedical College of WisconsinMilwaukeeUSA
  3. 3.Lung Research Lab L4:01, Respiratory Medicine Unit, Department of MedicineKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden

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