Oxylipins derived from omega-3 and -6 fatty acids are actively involved in inflammatory and immune processes and play important roles in human disease. However, as the interest in oxylipins increases, questions remain regarding which molecules are detectable in plasma, the best methods of collecting samples, and if molecules are stable during collection and storage. We thereby built upon existing studies by examining the stability of an expanded panel of 90 oxylipins, including specialized pro-resolving lipid mediators (SPMs), in human plasma (n = 5 subjects) during sample collection, processing, and storage at -80 °C. Oxylipins were quantified using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Blood samples collected in ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) or heparin followed by up to 2 h at room temperature prior to processing showed no significant differences in oxylipin concentrations compared to immediately processed samples, including the SPMs lipoxin A4 and resolvin D1. The majority of molecules, including SPMs, remained stable following storage for up to 1 year. However, in support of previous findings, changes were seen in a small subset of oxylipins including 12-HETE, TXB2, 14-HDHA, and 18-HEPE. Overall, this study showed that accurate measurements of most oxylipins can be obtained from stored EDTA or heparin plasma samples using LC/MS/MS.
Keywords: blood processing; lipid mediators; oxylipins; plasma; storage.