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Methods Mol Biol. 2009;579:33-70. doi: 10.1007/978-1-60761-322-0_3.

Global analysis of retina lipids by complementary precursor ion and neutral loss mode tandem mass spectrometry.

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Department of Physiology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA.


Despite an increasing recognition of the causative and diagnostic role of lipids in the onset and progression of retinal disease, information on the global lipid profile of the normal retina is quite limited. Here, a "shotgun" tandem mass spectrometry approach involving the use of multiple lipid class-specific precursor ion and neutral loss scan mode experiments has been employed to analyze lipid extracts from normal rat retina, obtained with minimal sample handling prior to analysis. Redundant information for the identification and characterization of molecular species in each lipid class was obtained by complementary analysis of their protonated or deprotonated precursor ions, or by analysis of their various ionic adducts (e.g., Na+, NH4+, Cl-, CH3OCO2-). Notably, "alternative" precursor ion or neutral loss scan mode MS/MS experiments are introduced that were used to identify rat retina lipid molecular species that were not detected using "conventional" scan types typically employed in large-scale lipid-profiling experiments. This chapter outlines the principles and advantages of utilizing complementary/redundant identification of lipid species as a strategy to overcome inherent challenges and limitations of shotgun lipid analysis, and provides examples of the application of this strategy in the analysis of the retina lipidome.

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