Determination of endogenous tissue inflammation profiles by LC/MS/MS: COX- and LOX-derived bioactive lipids

Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2006 Dec;75(6):385-95. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2006.07.015. Epub 2006 Sep 29.


Cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase arachidonate products, including prostaglandins (PGs), leukotrienes (LTs), and hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acids (HETEs), are known to modulate inflammation within tissues and can serve as important etiologic factors in carcinogenesis. Eicosanoid content in tissues is typically determined either as a single molecular species through antibody-based assays or by high-performance liquid chromatography after addition of an exogenous substrate such as arachidonic acid. Unfortunately, the methods currently in use are either time-consuming or complicated. Here we report a method for simultaneously identifying eicosanoids appearing as endogenous bioactive lipids in in vivo settings using LC/MS/MS. The analyses indicate marked differences in endogenous eicosanoid content between malignant tissue types suggesting a need for selective therapeutic approaches. As a demonstration of the utility of the method, we present data to show that the technique can be used to distinguish eicosapentaenoic acid-derived formation of PGE(3) from PGE(2) in murine prostate tissue. The method has also been applied to an examination of endogenous eicosanoid metabolism in 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced oral cancer in hamsters demonstrating the inflammatory nature of this type of cancer with elevated levels of both PGE(2) and LTB(4). In addition, the concentration of the eicosanoid 13-hydroxyoctadecadienoic acid was 67.6% lower in DMBA treated specimens than in control specimens. Thus, our method provides a powerful tool for measuring modulation of eicosanoid metabolites in various preclinical and clinical tissues and may be useful in studies of the endogenous changes in eicosanoid metabolism at various stages of cancer development.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis*
  • Carcinogens / toxicity
  • Chromatography, Liquid / methods*
  • Cricetinae
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • Dinoprostone / analysis
  • Eicosanoids / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / chemically induced
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Lipids / analysis
  • Lipoxygenase / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Transplantation
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization / methods*
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Carcinogens
  • Eicosanoids
  • Lipids
  • Lipoxygenase
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Dinoprostone