Plasma phospholipids, non-esterified plasma polyunsaturated fatty acids and oxylipids are associated with BMI

C. Austin Pickens, Lorraine M. Sordillo, Sarah S. Comstock, William S. Harris, Kari Hortos, Bruce Kovan, Jenifer I. Fenton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations


The obese lipid profile is associated with increased free fatty acids and triacylglycerides. Currently, little is known about the plasma lipid species associated with obesity. In this study, we compared plasma lipid fatty acid (FA) profiles as a function of BMI. Profiling phospholipid (PL) FAs and their respective oxylipids could predict which obese individuals are more likely to suffer from diseases associated with chronic inflammation or oxidative stress. We investigated the relationship between BMI and plasma PL (PPL) FA composition in 126 men using a quantitative gas chromatography analysis. BMI was inversely associated with both PPL nervonic and linoleic acid (LA) but was positively associated with both dihomo-γ-linolenic and palmitoleic acid. Compared to lean individuals, obese participants were more likely to have ω-6 FAs, except arachidonic acid and LA, incorporated into PPLs. Obese participants were less likely to have EPA and DHA incorporated into PPLs compared to lean participants. Non-esterified plasma PUFA and oxylipid analysis showed ω-6 oxylipids were more abundant in the obese plasma pool. These ω-6 oxylipids are associated with increased angiogenesis (i.e. epoxyeicosatrienoates), reactive oxygen species (i.e. 9-hydroxyeicosatetraenoate), and inflammation resolution (i.e. Lipoxin A4). In summary, BMI is directly associated with specific PPL FA and increased ω-6 oxylipids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-40
Number of pages10
JournalProstaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Biomarker
  • Human
  • Inflammation
  • Lipidome
  • Nervonic acid
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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