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Relative quantification of deuterated omega-3 and-6 fatty acids and their lipid turnover in PC12 cell membranes using TOF-SIMS

Journal article
Authors Mai H. Philipsen
P. Malmberg
Andrew G Ewing
V. P. Nada
Published in Journal of Lipid Research
Volume 59
Issue 11
Pages 2098-2107
ISSN 0022-2275
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 2098-2107
Language en
Keywords time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry, phospholipids, alpha-linolenic acid, linoleic acid, ion mass-spectrometry, alpha-linolenic acid, omega-3-fatty-acid, supplementation, dietary omega-3-fatty-acids, selective incorporation, docosahexaenoic acid, in-vivo, brain, metabolism, disease, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
Subject categories Molecular biology


Understanding FA metabolism and lipid synthesis requires a lot of information about which FAs and lipids are formed within the cells. We focused on the use of deuterated substrates of 100 mu M alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid to determine the relative amounts of their converted PUFAs and specific phospholipids that are incorporated into cell plasma membranes. Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) was used to image and analyze lipids in model cell membranes with and without FA treatment. Because of its high spatial resolution, TOF-SIMS can be used to simultaneously provide both chemical information and distribution of various molecules in the sample surface down to the subcellular scale. Data obtained from this analysis of isotopes in the cell samples were used to calculate the relative amounts of long-chain PUFAs and phospholipids from their precursors, alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid. Our results show that the FA treatments induced an increase in the amounts of alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid and their long-chain conversion products. Moreover, an enhanced level of phospholipid turnover of these FAs in lipids such as phosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylethanolamines, and phosphatidylinositols was also observed in the cell plasma membrane.

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