We have developed a targeted lipidomics approach that makes it possible to directly analyze chiral eicosanoid lipids generated in cellular systems. The eicosanoids, including prostaglandins (PGs), thromboxanes (TXs), leukotrienes (LTs) and alcohols (HETEs), have been implicated as potent lipid mediators of various biological processes. Enzymatic formations of eicosanoids are regioselective and enantioselective, whereas reactive oxygen species (ROS)-mediated formation proceeds with no stereoselectivity. To distinguish between enzymatic and non-enzymatic pathways of eicosanoid formation, it is necessary to resolve enantiomeric forms as well as regioisomers. High sensitivity is also required to analyze the eicosanoid lipids that are usually present as trace amounts (pM level) in biological fluids. A discovery of liquid chromatography-electron capture atmospheric pressure chemical ionization/mass spectrometry (LCECAPCI/ MS) allows us to couple normal phase chiral chromatography without loss of sensitivity. Analytical specificity was obtained by the use of collision-induced dissociation (CID) and tandem MS (MS/MS). With combination of stable isotope dilution methodology, complex mixtures of regioisomeric and enantiomeric eicosanoids have been resolved and quantified in biological samples with high sensitivity and specificity. Targeted chiral lipidomics profiles of bioactive eicosanoid lipids obtained from various cell systems and their biological implications have been discussed.
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