Identification and quantitation of unique fatty acid oxidation products in human atherosclerotic plaque using high-performance liquid chromatography

Anal Biochem. 2001 May 15;292(2):234-44. doi: 10.1006/abio.2001.5075.


Oxidation of lipoproteins, particularly low-density lipoprotein, is thought to play a major role in the development of atherosclerosis. We set out to identify and quantitate the major fatty acid oxidation products in human atherosclerotic plaque obtained from individuals undergoing carotid endarterectomy. Oxidized lipids were extracted from plaque homogenate under conditions to prevent artifactual oxidation. Identification and quantitation was performed using HPLC and GC-MS. High levels of hydroxyoctadecanoic acids (0.51 +/- 0.17 ng/microg of linoleic acid), 15-hydroxyeicosatetranoic acid (HETE) (0.66 +/- 0.24 ng/microg of arachidonic acid), and 11-HETE (0.84 +/- 0.24 ng/microg of arachidonic acid) were detected in all atherosclerotic plaques (n = 10). Low levels of 9-oxo-octadecanoic acid (oxoODE) (0.04 +/- 0.01 ng/microg of linoleic acid), were present in all samples, while 13-oxoODE (0.01 +/- 0.008 ng/microg of linoleic acid) was present in only 4 of the 10 plaque samples. Of interest was the identification of two previously unidentified compounds in atherosclerotic plaque, 11-oxo-eicosatetranoic acid in 9 of the 10 samples and 5,6-dihydroxyeicosatetranoic acid in 3 samples. Chiral analysis revealed that all the major compounds identified in this study are of a nonenzymatic origin. This study is the first to provide a convenient HPLC method to quantify all the products of both linoleic acid and arachidonic acid oxidation in human atherosclerotic plaque. The quantitation of lipid peroxidation products in plaque may be important given the potential biological activity of these compounds and their possible relationship to plaque pathogenesis and instability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arachidonic Acid / analysis
  • Arachidonic Acid / metabolism
  • Carotid Artery Diseases / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Fatty Acids / analysis*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic Acids / analysis
  • Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic Acids / metabolism
  • Linoleic Acid / analysis
  • Linoleic Acid / metabolism
  • Oleic Acid / analysis
  • Oleic Acid / metabolism
  • Oxidants / metabolism*
  • Palmitic Acid / analysis
  • Palmitic Acid / metabolism
  • Stearic Acids / analysis
  • Stearic Acids / metabolism
  • Stereoisomerism


  • Fatty Acids
  • Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic Acids
  • Oxidants
  • Stearic Acids
  • Arachidonic Acid
  • Oleic Acid
  • Palmitic Acid
  • stearic acid
  • Linoleic Acid