The task of lipid analysis and profiling is taking centre stage in many research fields and as a consequence, there has been an intense effort to develop suitable methodologies to discover, identify, and quantify lipids in the systems investigated. Given the high complexity and diversity of the lipidome, researchers have been challenged to afford thorough knowledge of all the lipid species in a given sample, by gathering the data obtained by complementary analytical techniques. In this research, an “omic” approach was developed to quickly fingerprint lipids in the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis), by exploiting multidimensional and hyphenated techniques. In detail, two-dimensional comprehensive hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography coupled to reversed-phase liquid chromatography afforded both class-type separation and lipid assignment within the total lipid species in the sample, by the coupling of a 2.1-mm I.D. partially porous stationary phase in the first dimension, to a short (50 mm) monodisperse octadecylsilica secondary column; individual molecular species were afterwards identified by means of their ion trap-time of flight mass spectra obtained by electrospray ionization. More than 200 neutral and polar lipids were identified, and among the latter, phosphatydylcholine and phosphatydylethanolamine were the most represented classes, together with their mono-acylated forms, plasmanyl and plasmenyl derivatives. Subsequently, separation of the saturated and unsaturated isomers of the fatty acids (including the saturated C16:0 and the polyunsaturated C22:6) in the offline collected phospholipid fractions was accomplished by gas chromatography analysis of the corresponding methyl esters, on a 200 m × 0.25 mm, 0.2 μm df ionic liquid column.
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The authors gratefully acknowledge Shimadzu Corporation and Millipore Sigma/Supelco Corporation for the continuous support.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Statement of human and animal rights
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed. All procedures were in accordance with guidelines for the protection of animal welfare, in compliance with the Italian National Bioethics Committee (INBC) (European Community Council Directive of November 24, 1986-86/609/EEC).
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