Quantitative Profiling of Lipid Species in Caenorhabditis elegans with Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry

Methods Mol Biol. 2020;2144:111-123. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0592-9_10.


Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) enables sensitive detection and relative quantification of fatty acids. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the use of GC-MS can corroborate findings from common staining methodologies, providing great resolution on the lipid species altered in abundance in aging, genetic mutants, or with dietary or pharmacologic manipulation. Here we describe a method to quantitate relative abundance of fatty acids in total worm lipid extracts, as well as a method that quantitates fatty acids following separation into neutral lipid pools (triacylglycerols and cholesteryl esters) versus more polar lipids (phospholipids) by solid-phase extraction (SPE).

Keywords: Aging; C. elegans; Fat; Fatty acids; Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry; Lipids; Phospholipids; Solid-phase chromatography; Triglycerides.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / genetics*
  • Fatty Acids / chemistry
  • Fatty Acids / genetics*
  • Fatty Acids / isolation & purification
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry / methods*
  • Lipids / chemistry
  • Lipids / genetics*
  • Lipids / isolation & purification


  • Fatty Acids
  • Lipids