Oxidiative lipidomics coming of age: advances in analysis of oxidized phospholipids in physiology and pathology.
Significance: Oxidized phospholipids are now well-recognized as markers of biological oxidative stress and bioactive molecules with both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects. While analytical methods continue to be developed for studies of generic lipid oxidation, mass spectrometry (MS) has underpinned the advances in knowledge of specific oxidized phospholipids by allowing their identification and characterization, and is responsible for the expansion of oxidative lipidomics. Recent Advances: Studies of oxidized phospholipids in biological samples, both from animal models and clinical samples, have been facilitated by the recent improvements in MS, especially targeted routines that depend on the fragmentation pattern of the parent molecular ion and improved resolution and mass accuracy. MS can be used to identify selectively individual compounds or groups of compounds with common features, which greatly improves the sensitivity and specificity of detection. Application of these methods have enabled important advances in understanding the mechanisms of inflammatory diseases such as atherosclerosis, steatohepatitis, leprosy and cystic fibrosis, and offer potential for developing biomarkers of molecular aspects of the diseases. Critical Issues and Future Directions: The future in this field will depend on development of improved MS technologies, such as ion mobility, novel enrichment methods and databases and software for data analysis, owing to the very large amount of data generated in these experiments. Imaging of oxidized phospholipids in tissue MS is an additional exciting direction emerging that can be expected to advance understanding of physiology and disease.