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Ion mobility mass spectrometry enhances low-abundance species detection in untargeted lipidomics.

  • Author(s): Basit, Abdul;
  • Pontis, Silvia;
  • Piomelli, Daniele;
  • Armirotti, Andrea
  • et al.

We describe a simple method for the detection of low intensity lipid signals in complex tissue samples, based on a combination of liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry and ion mobility mass spectrometry. The method relies on visual and software-assisted analysis of overlapped mobilograms (diagrams of mass-to-charge ratio, m/z, vs drift time, DT) and was successfully applied in untargeted lipidomics analyses of mouse brain tissue to detect relatively small variations in a scarce class of phospholipids (N-acyl phosphatidylethanolamines) generated during neural tissue damage, against a background of hundreds of lipid species. Standard analytical tools, including Principal Component Analysis, failed to detect such changes.

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