MS/MS and LC-MS/MS analysis of choline/ethanolamine plasmalogens via promotion of alkali metal adduct formation

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) has been used for the analysis of plasmalogen (Pls), a physiologically important class of vinyl ether-linked phospholipid. However, MS/MS generally causes little fragmentation of Pls, especially choline Pls (PC-Pls). Previous MS/MS studies reported an increased formation of product ions of PC-Pls (and also ethanolamine Pls (PE-Pls)) in the presence of 'alkali metals.' Therefore, use of alkali metals considerably leads to the development of a method for analysis of both PC- and PE-Pls. In this study, this notion was evaluated using quadrupole-time-of-flight MS/MS and liquid chromatography (LC) coupled with MS/MS. Results from MS/MS confirmed that alkali metals (e.g., sodium) produced significant fragmentation of PC-Pls and PE-Pls. A number of structure-diagnostic product ions exhibiting high intensities were observed under optimized MS/MS conditions using alkali metals. Moreover, the ability to selectively and sensitively identify PC-Pls and PE-Pls at the molecular species level in biological samples (rat brain and heart) was demonstrated using LC-MS/MS. Therefore, the herein developed method appears to be a powerful tool for analyzing Pls and may provide a better understanding of their physiological roles in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 1


  • Choline plasmalogen
  • Ethanolamine plasmalogen
  • Plasmalogen
  • Rat tissues
  • Tandem mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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