Free radical-induced oxidation products of polyunsaturated fatty acids esterified to phospholipids have been implicated in a number of human diseases including atherosclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases. Some of these phospholipid oxidation products have potent biological activities and likely contribute to human pathophysiological conditions. Oxidation products have also been used as markers of oxidative stress in vivo. Identification and quantification of phospholipid oxidation products are often performed by analyzing the oxidized free fatty acid moieties after hydrolysis from the phospholipids head groups by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) or liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). We now describe the definitive identification of intact oxidized products of glycerophospholipids including glycerophosphatidylcholine (GPC), glycerophosphatidylethanolamine (GPE), and glycerophosphatidylserine (GPS) in vitro and in vivo using iontrap MS. For these analyses, the negative ions of the oxidation products of phospholipids are fragmented to MS(n) and unequivocal structural characterization is obtained based on collision-induced dissociation (CID) of the sn-2 carboxylate ion. This technique overcomes the need to hydrolyze fatty acids from phospholipids in the analysis. The method has been used to identify a number of oxidation products of glycerophospholipids including hydroxyeicosatetraenoates (HETEs) and isoprostanes (IsoPs) esterified to different classes of glycerophospholipids in vitro and in vivo. These studies thus provide a new approach to identify the intact oxidation products of glycerolphospholipids.
2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.