Positive ion electrospray ionization mass spectrometry was used to obtain a lipid profile of vesicles prepared from egg yolk lethicin and enriched with arachidonylstearoyl phosphatidylcholine and dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine. The vesicles were oxidized by treatment with tert-butylhydroperoxide and iron (II) sulfate, and the formation of hydroperoxides of the polyunsaturated lipid arachidonylstearoyl phosphatidylcholine was observed. The native lipid signal at 832 a.m.u. decreased and new signals appeared at 864, 896, and 928 a.m.u., corresponding to the addition of one (+32), two (+64), and three (+96) molecules of dioxygen. The dihydroperoxide was found to be the most favourable peroxide product, but it appeared that a degradation of the hydroperoxides was occurring concomitant with their formation, and only their net formation was observed. The rate of depletion of the polyunsaturated lipid and the rate of accumulation of the hydroperoxides was found to increase with the Fe2+ concentration between 10 µM and 2 mM, and was also dependent on the tert-butylhydroperoxide concentration. This is the first report of analysis of lipid hydroperoxides by electrospray mass spectrometry, showing that technique offers a sensitive, direct, and informative approach to the study of oxidative damage to biological membranes.
- lipid peroxidation
- lipid hydroperoxides
- electrospray ionization mass spectrometry
- oxidative damage
- free radical