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J Lipid Res. 2010 Jun;51(6):1581-90. doi: 10.1194/jlr.D003715. Epub 2009 Nov 30.

Identification of atypical ether-linked glycerophospholipid species in macrophages by mass spectrometry.

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Department of Pharmacology and Chemistry, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.


A large scale profiling and analysis of glycerophospholipid species in macrophages has facilitated the identification of several rare and atypical glycerophospholipid species. By using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry and comparison of the elution and fragmentation properties of the rare lipids to synthetic standards, we were able to identify an array of ether-linked phosphatidylinositols (PIs), phosphatidic acids, phosphatidylserines (PSs), very long chain phosphatidylethanolamines (PEs), and phosphatidylcholines (PCs) as well as phosphatidylthreonines (PTs) and a wide collection of odd carbon fatty acid-containing phospholipids in macrophages. A comprehensive qualitative analysis of glycerophospholipids from different macrophage cells was conducted. During the phospholipid profiling of the macrophage-like RAW 264.7 cells, we identified dozens of rare or previously uncharacterized phospholipids, including ether-linked PIs, PSs, and glycerophosphatidic acids, PTs, and PCs and PTs containing very long polyunsaturated fatty acids. Additionally, large numbers of phospholipids containing at least one odd carbon fatty acid were identified. Using the same methodology, we also identified many of the same species of glycerophospholipids in resident peritoneal macrophages, foam cells, and murine bone marrow derived macrophages.

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