Comprehensive analysis of lipids in biological systems by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry

Trends Analyt Chem. 2014 Oct 1;61:192-206. doi: 10.1016/j.trac.2014.04.017.


Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS)-based lipidomics has been a subject of dramatic developments over the past decade. This review focuses on state of the art in LC-MS-based lipidomics, covering all the steps of global lipidomic profiling. On the basis of review of 185 original papers and application notes, we can conclude that typical LC-MS-based lipidomics methods involve: (1) extraction using chloroform/MeOH or MTBE/MeOH protocols, both with addition of internal standards covering each lipid class; (2) separation of lipids using short microbore columns with sub-2-μm or 2.6-2.8-μm (fused-core) particle size with C18 or C8 sorbent with analysis time <30 min; (3) electrospray ionization in positive- and negative-ion modes with full spectra acquisition using high-resolution MS with capability to MS/MS. Phospholipids (phosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylethanolamines, phosphatidylinositols, phosphatidylserines, phosphatidylglycerols) followed by sphingomyelins, di- and tri-acylglycerols, and ceramides were the most frequently targeted lipid species.

Keywords: Acylglycerol; Biological system; Comprehensive analysis; Extraction method; Global lipidomic profiling; LC-MS; Lipidomics; Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry; Metabolomics; Phospholipid.