Free carnitine and acylcarnitines play an important role in the metabolism of fatty acids. Sterols are structural lipids found in the membranes of many eukaryotic cells, and they also have functional roles such as the regulation of membrane permeability and fluidity, activity of membrane-bound enzymes and signals transduction. Abnormal profiles of these compounds in biological fluids may be useful markers of metabolic changes. In this review, we describe the subset of the lipidome represented by acylcarnitines and sterols, and we summarize how these compounds have been analyzed in the past. Over the last 50 years, lipid mass spectrometry (MS) has evolved to become one of the most useful techniques for metabolic analysis. Today, the introduction of new ambient ionization techniques coupled to MS (AMS), which are characterized by the direct desorbing/ionizing of molecules from solid samples, is generating new possibilities for in situ analysis. Recently, we developed an AMS approach called APTDCI to desorb/ionize using a heated gas flow and an electrical discharge to directly analyze sterols and indirectly investigate acylcarnitines in dried blood or plasma spot samples. Here, we also describe the APTDCI method and some of its clinical applications, and we underline the common complications and issues that remain to be resolved. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Lipodomics and Imaging Mass Spectrometry.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2011|
- Ambient mass spectrometry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology