Evaluating lipid mediator structural complexity using ion mobility spectrometry combined with mass spectrometry

Journal Article
Bioanalysis, vol. 10, iss. 5, pp. 279-289, 2018
Jennifer E Kyle, Noor Aly, Xueyun Zheng, Kristin E Burnum-Johnson, Richard D Smith, Erin S Baker
Aim: Lipid mediators (LMs) are broadly defined as a class of bioactive lipophilic molecules that regulate cell-to-cell communication events with many having a strong correlation with various human diseases and conditions. LMs are usually analyzed with  LC–MS, but their numerous isomers greatly complicate the measurements with essentially identical fragmentation spectra and LC separations are not always sufficient for distinguishing the features. Results/methodology: In this work, we characterized LMs using ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) coupled with MS (IMS–MS). The collision cross-sections and m/z values from the IMS and MS analyses displayed distinct trend lines. Specifically, the structural trend lines for sodiated LMs originating from docosahexaenoic acid had the smallest collision cross-section values in relation to m/z, while those from linoleic acid had the largest. LC–IMS–MS analyses were also performed on LMs in flu infected mouse tissue samples. These multidimensional studies were able to assess known LMs while also detecting new species. Conclusion: Adding IMS separations to conventional LC–MS analyses show great utility for enabling better identification and characterization of LMs in complex biological samples.
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