LC-MS/MS assay for the simultaneous determination of tocopherols, polyunsaturated fatty acids and their metabolites in human plasma and serum

Danilo Giusepponi, Roberta Galarini, Carolina Barola, Pierangelo Torquato, Desirée Bartolini, Simone Moretti, Giorgio Saluti, Antimo Gioiello, Carmelo Libetta, Francesco Galli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The role of vitamin E in both enzymatic and free radical-dependent metabolism of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has been well demonstrated. This study proposed a new LC-MS/MS method to quantify the main vitamin E forms, their metabolites and main PUFA species in human blood, since, at present, there are not procedures able to simultaneously determine these two classes of compounds. After the optimization of sample treatment and reverse-phase separation conditions, tandem mass spectrometry detection was evaluated experimenting both positive and negative electrospray ionisation modes. The procedure was also preliminarily adapted to assess five arachidonic acid-derived eicosanoids that could be under the influence of vitamin E function, such as LTB4 (leukotriene B4), 20-HETE (20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid) and their ω-oxidation metabolites. After the validation study, the performance characteristics were confirmed analysing a certified reference material (SRM ® 1950 - frozen human plasma by NIST). Finally, an application of the method in the analysis of lipid abnormalities of chronic kidney disease patients was shown.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • Eicosanoids
  • Human plasma/serum
  • Liquid-chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids
  • Tocopheryl quinone
  • Validation
  • Vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology (medical)

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