High-Throughput Quantitative Lipidomics Analysis of Nonesterified Fatty Acids in Human Plasma
We present a high-throughput, nontargeted lipidomics approach using liquid chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry for quantitative analysis of nonesterified fatty acids. We applied this method to screen a wide range of fatty acids from medium-chain to very long-chain (8 to 24 carbon atoms) in human plasma samples. The method enables us to chromatographically separate branched-chain species from their straight-chain isomers as well as separate biologically important omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. We used 51 fatty acid species to demonstrate the quantitative capability of this method with quantification limits in the nanomolar range; however, this method is not limited only to these fatty acid species. High-throughput sample preparation was developed and carried out on a robotic platform that allows extraction of 96 samples simultaneously within 3 h. This high-throughput platform was used to assess the influence of different types of human plasma collection and preparation on the nonesterified fatty acid profile of healthy donors. Use of the anticoagulants EDTA and heparin has been compared with simple clotting, and only limited changes have been detected in most nonesterified fatty acid concentrations.