Nature provides an enormous diversity of lipid molecules that originate from various pathways. To gain insight into the metabolism and dynamics of lipid species, the application of stable isotope-labeled tracers combined with mass spectrometric analysis represents a perfect tool. This review provides an overview of strategies to track fatty acid, glycerophospholipid, and sphingolipid metabolism. In particular, the selection of stable isotope-labeled precursors and their mass spectrometric analysis is discussed. Furthermore, examples of metabolic studies that were performed in cell culture, animal and clinical experiments are presented.
Keywords: Lipid biosynthesis; Lipid metabolism; Lipidomics; Mass spectrometry; Metabolic profiling; Stable isotope labeling.
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