Human brain lipidomics: Utilities of chloride adducts in flow injection analysis

Paul L. Wood, Kathleen A. Hauther, Jon H. Scarborough, Dustin J. Craney, Beatrix Dudzik, John E. Cebak, Randall L. Woltjer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Ceramides have been implicated in a number of disease processes. However, current means of evaluation with flow infusion analysis (FIA) have been limited primarily due to poor sensitivity within our high-resolution mass spectrometry lipidomics analytical platform. To circumvent this deficiency, we investigated the potential of chloride adducts as an alternative method to improve sensitivity with electrospray ionization. Chloride adducts of ceramides and ceramide subfamilies provided 2-to 50-fold increases in sensitivity both with analytical standards and biological samples. Chloride adducts of a number of other lipids with reactive hydroxy groups were also enhanced. For example, monogalactosyl diacylglycerols (MGDGs), extracted from frontal lobe cortical gray and subcortical white matter of cognitively intact subjects, were not detected as ammonium adducts but were readily detected as chloride adducts. Hydroxy lipids demonstrate a high level of specificity in that phosphoglycerols and phosphoinositols do not form chloride adducts. In the case of choline glycerophospholipids, the fatty acid substituents of these lipids could be monitored by MS2 of the chloride adducts. Monitoring the chloride adducts of a number of key lipids offers enhanced sensitivity and specificity with FIA. In the case of glycerophosphocholines, the chloride adducts also allow determination of fatty acid substituents. The chloride adducts of lipids possessing electrophilic hydrogens of hydroxyl groups provide significant increases in sensitivity. In the case of glycerophosphocholines, chloride attachment to the quaternary ammonium group generates a dominant anion, which provides the identities of the fatty acid substituents under MS2 conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number403
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • Ceramides
  • Chloride adducts
  • Flow infusion analysis
  • Glycerophosphocholines
  • Human brain
  • Sphingolipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


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