Fast HPLC Determination of Serum Free Fatty ... - Clinical Chemistry

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Fast HPLC Determination of Serum Free Fatty Acids in the Picomole Range. Michael. P#{252}ttmann,1'3 Harald. Krug,2. Elke von Ochsenstein,' and Reinhard.

CLIN. CHEM. 39/5, 825-832

Fast HPLC Michael

(1993)

Determination

P#{252}ttmann,1’3

Harald

of Serum

Krug,2

Elke

von

Free Fatty Acids in the Picomole Ochsenstein,’

We developed a method for determining individual free fatty acids in serum by using a modified one-step Dole extraction, derivatization, and a new high-performance

liquid chromatographic (HPLC) separation. Sample handling is minimized to a single transfer of the fatty acids (upper layer of the Dole extract), which are readily derivatized at 85 #{176}C with p-bromophenacyl bromide without significant hydrolysis of esterifled fatty acids. The derivatization mixture is directly injected into the HPLC apparatus. The new method, which uses C6 (3-zm particle) column material and an isocratic acetonitrile-water eluent, separates nearly to baseline 12 of the physiologically most abundant long-chain fatty acids (C12-C) in 99%” (Sigma, Deisenhofen, acetonitrile for HPLC (Fisons, Loughborough, UK), glass Reacti-vials (1.5 and 10 mL) with screwcaps and Teflon-lined septa, and magnetic bars for the derivatization of fatty acids, Chromabond NH2#{174} and fiberglass discs for lipid separations (Macherey und Nagel, D#{252}ren, Germany) were purchased as indicated. Other solvents, inorganic acids, and laboratory chemicals were “pro analysi” quality and Extrelut#{174} bulk material from Merck (Darmstadt, Germany). All glassware was rinsed with chloroform/methanol (1/1 by vol). For solvents used during Dole’s extraction, plastic pipette tips (Ratiolab, Dreieich, Germany) could be used after having being rinsed several times with solvent; we exactly weighed the pipetted volume. In every series we included two blank runs (water instead of serum) to check for contaminations. Blood from 38 apparently healthy, fasting volunteers (ages 20-55 years) was drawn into serum Monovettes#{174} (Sarstedt, N#{252}mbrecht, Germany), which were shown to be free of FFA contamination. The sera used for FFA determinations were stored at -18 #{176}C, usually for sev-

Germany),

eral weeks, the analysis.

and

centrifuged

after

thawing

just

before

partides, 25 x 4 mm, -140 000 plates/m (Phase Separation, Deeside, UK), used with a CN-5pm guard column (4 x 4 mm) at a column temperature of 30#{176}C.The mobile phase was acetonitrile/water (77/23 by vol), the flow rate 1.3 mJ.Imin (back pressure -220 kPa). Absorbance of the eluate was monitored at 254 nm and the signal processed by the integrator. Peaks were identified via retention times in relation to the internal standard heptadecanoic acid. We calculated micromolar concentrations of fatty acids by the internal standard method, using peak areas corrected for different detector responses by calibration runs with a mixture of fatty acid standards (Figure la). Extractions. We performed the extraction method of Bligh and Dyer essentially as described (20), extracting 100 p1 of serum with 375 iL of methanol/chloroform (2/1 by vol, with 2 g/L added formic acid), 125 p1 of water, and 125 p1 of chloroform. The resulting aqueous phase was shaken twice with 1 mL of chloroform, all organic layers were combined, and finally the solvent was removed under a stream of nitrogen. Extrelut extractions were performed as indicated by Ikeda et al. (21): 100 p1 of serum mixed with 900 p1 of a)

Final Method for Serum FFA Dole’s extraction (modified). Mix 100 L of serum with 20 pL of heptadecanoic (margaric) acid in isopropanol (5 mxnol/L) as internal standard (included also in the added fatty acid mixture in recovery experiments) in a 1.5-mL Reacti-vial. Add 500 pL of the modified Dole’s mixture-isopropanolln-heptane/phosphoric acid (2 mol/ L), 40/10/1 (by vol)-and mix again. After 5-10 miii of incubation at room temperature add 200 L of n-heptane and 300 j.L of water, thoroughly vortex-mix, and centrifuge for 5 miii at 1000 x g. Transfer 200 pL of the upper organic layer (i.e., 62.5% of the total 320 L) to another Reacti-vial and remove the solvent under a stream of nitrogen. Derivatization of FFA Reconstitute the lipid extract with 6 L of chromophore-catalyst reagent (50 mmol/L p-bromophenacylbromide and 5 mmol/L 18-crown-6 in acetonitrile, stored protected from light), 500 j.tL of acetonitrile, and -1 mg of KHCO3. Insert a magnetic bar, top the liquid with a few milliliters of nitrogen gas, close the vial tightly (use the Teflon-lined septa), and heat to 85#{176}C for 45 mm with vigorous stirring. Weigh the vials before and after heating to check for leakage. After cooling the samples, remove the magnetic bars, centrifuge the reaction mixture, and inject 10-25 p1 of the clear supernate into the HPLC apparatus. The amount of reagent used is sufficient for FFA concentrations up to 3.5 mmol/L; the given volumes should be increased slightly (60

>60

96-100

>90a

40-80

No

Contaminations,

imoI/L

100 p1 of sample is extracted initially and the derivatized FFA are concentrated before injection.

in the ranges

ence

With Comparison

with

Other

Methods

There is a good correlation between the TLC/GC method (13,15,27) and our HPLC method for determining total serum FFA concentrations, as shown by the analysis of sera from 10 volunteers (Figure 2a). This is especially true for the individual saturated and oligounsaturated fatty acids (summarized in Figure 2, b and c) and even for ilnolenic acid (linear regression y = 1.014x + 0.98, r 0.968, n = 10; data not separately =

shown).

The

about

4-8%

lower

values

for

total

FFA

measured with the caused by the much

GC method are at least partially lower findings for the polyunsatuarachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic

rated fatty acids, acid (no significant correlation, Figure 2d). This discrepancy was already observed by Cordis et al. (27) and is probably due to the isolation of FFA during TLC, leading to losses of polyunsaturated fatty acids by oxidation. Unfortunately, the “one-step” GC method by Lepage and Roy (15), which circumvents the TLC step, was not useful in our hands because it yielded two- to threefold higher total serum FFA contents than the three methods above. Figure 2e shows the correlation between the enzymatic and the HPLC method for total serum FFA concentrations measured in the sera of 38 volunteers. The slight difference of 2-5% lower values for the normal range by the HPLC method might be caused in part by the still incomplete extraction of linoleic and other polyunsaturated fatty acids by the modified Dole method (Table 2). The percentage ranges for the individual fatty acids determined with our method fit well

Table 5. Percentage

of Total Serum Human Subjects Mien

HPLC (n = 38)

FFA

12:0

1.5±

14:0

3.1

14:1

0.3

16:0 16:1 18:0

26.7 3.8± 10.2±

18:1 c/s 18:1 trans

±

±

FFA

SD, % TLC/GC (n = 10)

0.8

1.8±

1.2

3.7

±

0.8

0.4

±

0.3

± 0.2

In Heafthy

0.9

%

‘13’

n.r. 25-32 4-6

(Table

5 and

refer-

new

our

method,

HPLC

only

100 p1

of serum

and basic HPLC equipment are necessary for a fast and reliable determination of total and individual serum FFA. The method correlates well with two other generally accepted methods and is suitable for routine analysis in series of 10-20 samples, e.g., to determine precursor fatty acids, arachidonic and docosahexaenoic

It is also transferable to matrices other than e.g., for the investigation of acyl chain selectivity of lipolytic enzymes in serum (28) or thrombocytes acid.

serum,

(Preuss, P#{252}ttmann, Patscheke, unpublished). the FFA are not destroyed, fraction collection for further investigation, e.g., by GC, mass try, or scintillation counting. We thank

Birgit

Waidele

for excellent

technical

Because

is possible spectrome-

assistance.

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