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PLoS One. 2013 Oct 24;8(10):e77561. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077561. eCollection 2013.

The development of a specific and sensitive LC-MS-based method for the detection and quantification of hydroperoxy- and hydroxydocosahexaenoic acids as a tool for lipidomic analysis.

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Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid that is highly enriched in the brain, and the oxidation products of DHA are present or increased during neurodegenerative disease progression. The characterization of the oxidation products of DHA is critical to understanding the roles that these products play in the development of such diseases. In this study, we developed a sensitive and specific analytical tool for the detection and quantification of twelve major DHA hydroperoxide (HpDoHE) and hydroxide (HDoHE) isomers (isomers at positions 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19 and 20) in biological systems. In this study, HpDoHE were synthesized by photooxidation, and the corresponding hydroxides were obtained by reduction with NaBH4. The isolated isomers were characterized by LC-MS/MS, and unique and specific fragment ions were chosen to construct a selected reaction monitoring (SRM) method for the targeted quantitative analysis of each HpDoHE and HDoHE isomer. The detection limits for the LC-MS/MS-SRM assay were 1-670 pg for HpDoHE and 0.5-8.5 pg for HDoHE injected onto a column. Using this method, it was possible to detect the basal levels of HDoHE isomers in both rat plasma and brain samples. Therefore, the developed LC-MS/MS-SRM can be used as an important tool to identify and quantify the hydro(pero)xy derivatives of DHA in biological system and may be helpful for the oxidative lipidomic studies.

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