The cellular, macromolecular and neutral lipid composition of the atherosclerotic plaque has been extensively characterized. However, a comprehensive lipidomic analysis of the major lipid classes within atherosclerotic lesions has not been reported. The objective of this study was to produce a detailed framework of the lipids that comprise the atherosclerotic lesion of a widely used pre-clinical model of plaque progression. Male New Zealand White rabbits were administered regular chow supplemented with 0.5% cholesterol (HC) for \r<br />12 weeks to induce hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis. Our lipidomic analyses of plaques isolated from rabbits fed the HC diet, using ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) and high-resolution mass spectrometry, detected most of the major lipid classes including: Cholesteryl esters, triacylglycerols, phosphatidylcholines, sphingomyelins, diacylglycerols, fatty acids, phosphatidylserines, lysophosphatidylcholines, ceramides, phosphatidylglycerols, phosphatidylinositols and phosphatidylethanolamines. Given that cholesteryl esters, triacylglycerols and phosphatidylcholines comprise greater than 75% of total plasma lipids, we directed particular attention towards the qualitative and quantitative assessment of the fatty acid composition of these lipids. We additionally found that sphingomyelins were relatively abundant lipid class within lesions, and compared the abundance of sphingomyelins to their precursor phosphatidylcholines. The studies presented here are the first approach to a comprehensive characterization of the atherosclerotic plaque lipidome.
Bojic, L. A., McLaren, D. G., Shah, V., Previs, S. F., Johns, D. G., & Castro-Perez, J. M. (2014). Lipidome of atherosclerotic plaques from hypercholesterolemic rabbits. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 15(12), 23283–23293. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms151223283