Lipids and Lipidomics in Brain Injury and Diseases

AAPS J. 2006 May 5;8(2):E314-21. doi: 10.1007/BF02854902.


Lipidomics is systems-level analysis and characterization of lipids and their interacting moieties. The amount of information in the genomic and proteomic fields is greater than that in the lipidomics field, because of the complex nature of lipids and the limitations of tools for analysis. The main innovation during recent years that has spurred advances in lipid analysis has been the development of new mass spectroscopic techniques, particularly the "soft ionization" techniques electrospray ionization and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization. Lipid metabolism may be of particular importance for the central nervous system, as it has a high concentration of lipids. The crucial role of lipids in cell signaling and tissue physiology is demonstrated by the many neurological disorders, including bipolar disorders and schizophrenia, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Niemann-Pick diseases, that involve deregulated lipid metabolism. Altered lipid metabolism is also believed to contribute to cerebral ischemic (stroke) injury. Lipidomics will provide a molecular signature to a certain pathway or a disease condition. Lipidomic analyses (characterizing complex mixtures of lipids and identifying previously unknown changes in lipid metabolism) together with RNA silencing, using small interfering RNA (siRNA), may provide powerful tools to elucidate the specific roles of lipid intermediates in cell signaling and open new opportunities for drug development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Lipids / analysis
  • Lipids / physiology*


  • Lipids