Stable isotope analysis of dynamic lipidomics


Metabolic pathway flux is a fundamental element of biological activity, which can be quantified using a variety of mass spectrometric techniques to monitor incorporation of stable isotope-labelled substrates into metabolic products. This article contrasts developments in electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) for the measurement of lipid metabolism with more established gas chromatography mass spectrometry and isotope ratio mass spectrometry methodologies. ESI-MS combined with diagnostic tandem MS/MS scans permits the sensitive and specific analysis of stable isotope-labelled substrates into intact lipid molecular species without the requirement for lipid hydrolysis and derivatisation. Such dynamic lipidomic methodologies using non-toxic stable isotopes can be readily applied to quantify lipid metabolic fluxes in clinical and metabolic studies in vivo. However, a significant current limitation is the absence of appropriate software to generate kinetic models of substrate incorporation into multiple products in the time domain. Finally, we discuss the future potential of stable isotope-mass spectrometry imaging to quantify the location as well as the extent of lipid synthesis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: BBALIP_Lipidomics Opinion Articles edited by Sepp Kohlwein.

Journal details

Volume 1862
Issue number 8
Pages 792-796
Publication date