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Prog Lipid Res. 2008 Jan;47(1):15-36. Epub 2007 Sep 20.

Lipidomics: practical aspects and applications.

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UMRS 538, UMPC Faculté de Medecine Pierre et Marie Curie, 27 Rue Chaligny, 75012 Paris, France.


Lipidomics is the characterization of the molecular species of lipids in biological samples. The polar lipids that comprise the bilayer matrix of the constituent cell membranes of living tissues are highly complex and number many hundreds of distinct lipid species. These differ in the nature of the polar group representing the different classes of lipid. Each class consists of a range of molecular species depending on the length, position of attachment and number of unsaturated double bonds in the associated fatty acids. The origin of this complexity is described and the biochemical processes responsible for homeostasis of the lipid composition of each morphologically-distinct membrane is considered. The practical steps that have been developed for the isolation of membranes and the lipids there from, their storage, separation, detection and identification by liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry are described. Application of lipidomic analyses and examples where clinical screening for lipidoses in collaboration with mass spectrometry facilities are considered from the user point of view.

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