Chapter four


Liquid Chromatography/Electrospray Ionization Mass

Spectrometry for Analysis of Oxidized Lipids


Arnis Kuksis


Banting and Best Department of Medical Research, University of Toronto, Toronto,

ON M5G 1L6, Canada




The analysis of oxidized lipids has become increasingly popular in recent years due to the widespread recognition of the importance of lipid autoxidation in the food industry, biology, and medicine. With few exceptions, autoxidation affects all lipid classes, although some lipids are more susceptible to it than others. Tissue lipid oxidation products have been difficult to identify until recently, when ultra-sensitive detectors and improved chromatographic techniques have become available. The significance of oxidation arises from the specific physicochemical, chemical, and biological activities of the oxidized lipids, which are peculiar to each lipid class. In addition to the long established adverse metabolic effects of oxocholesterol, recent work has identified adverse metabolic effects of the hydroperoxides, isoprostanes, aldehydes, and ozonides of the glycerolipids. Less specifically, analyses of oxolipids have provided an indication of a degenerating environment, food spoilage, aging, and disease. Various analytical techniques have been employed in the isolation and identification of the oxolipids and in describing their functionality. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) in combination with electrospray ionization-(ESI) mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) has been especially well suited for this purpose and forms the subject matter of this chapter. Following a brief consideration of the specialized methodology required for reliable oxolipid analyses, including extraction, derivatization, and LC/ESI-MS analysis, the chapter follows an orderly discussion of the analysis of hydroperoxides, epoxides and hydroxides, and isoprostanes and neuroprostanes, followed by core aldehydes and ozonides, generated from the major neutral and polar lipid classes. The chapter concludes with a call for maximum control of autoxidation and chemical oxidation during isolation, derivatization, and analysis of oxolipids to guard against artifact formation.


Specialized Methodology

Modern Methods for Lipid AnalysiS by Liquid Chromatography/ mass spectrometry and Related Techniques

Resources for Lipid Analysis in the 21st Century

Contact the author:


Dr. Arnis Kuksis

Banting and Best Dept. of Med. Res.

University of Toronto

ON M5G 1L6,  Canada



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