A reference map of sphingolipids in murine tissues

Cell Rep. 2021 Jun 15;35(11):109250. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109250.


Sphingolipids (SPs) have both a structural role in the cell membranes and a signaling function that regulates many cellular processes. The enormous structural diversity and low abundance of many SPs pose a challenge for their identification and quantification. Recent advances in lipidomics, in particular liquid chromatography (LC) coupled with mass spectrometry (MS), provide methods to detect and quantify many low-abundant SP species reliably. Here we use LC-MS to compile a "murine sphingolipid atlas," containing the qualitative and quantitative distribution of 114 SPs in 21 tissues of a widely utilized wild-type laboratory mouse strain (C57BL/6). We report tissue-specific SP fingerprints, as well as sex-specific differences in the same tissue. This is a comprehensive, quantitative sphingolipidomic map of mammalian tissues collected in a systematic fashion. It will complement other tissue compendia for interrogation into the role of SP in mammalian health and disease.

Keywords: high-fat diet; lipidomics; mass spectrometry; sex-specific; sphingolipids; tissue atlas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • Female
  • Lipidomics
  • Lysophospholipids / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Organ Specificity*
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Sphingolipids / blood
  • Sphingolipids / metabolism*
  • Sphingosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Sphingosine / metabolism


  • Lysophospholipids
  • Sphingolipids
  • sphingosine 1-phosphate
  • Sphingosine