Free arachidonic acid is functionally interlinked with different lipid signaling networks including those involving prostanoid pathways, the endocannabinoid system, N-acylethanolamines, as well as steroids. A sensitive and specific LC-MS/MS method for the quantification of arachidonic acid, prostaglandin E2, thromboxane B2, anandamide, 2-arachidonoylglycerol, noladin ether, lineoyl ethanolamide, oleoyl ethanolamide, palmitoyl ethanolamide, steroyl ethanolamide, aldosterone, cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone, progesterone, and testosterone in human plasma was developed and validated. Analytes were extracted using acetonitrile precipitation followed by solid phase extraction. Separations were performed by UFLC using a C18 column and analyzed on a triple quadrupole MS with electron spray ionization. Analytes were run first in negative mode and, subsequently, in positive mode in two independent LC-MS/MS runs. For each analyte, two MRM transitions were collected in order to confirm identity. All analytes showed good linearity over the investigated concentration range (r>0.98). Validated LLOQs ranged from 0.1 to 190ng/mL and LODs ranged from 0.04 to 12.3ng/mL. Our data show that this LC-MS/MS method is suitable for the quantification of a diverse set of bioactive lipids in plasma from human donors (n=32). The determined plasma levels are in agreement with the literature, thus providing a versatile method to explore pathophysiological processes in which changes of these lipids are implicated.
Keywords: Arachidonic acid; Endocannabinoids; LC-MS/MS; Lipids; N-acylethanolamines; Noladin ether; Palmitoylethanolamide; Prostanoids; Steroids.
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