Journal of Lipid Research (Apr 2017)

Regional changes in CNS and retinal glycerophospholipid profiles with age: a molecular blueprint

  • Blake R. Hopiavuori,
  • Martin-Paul Agbaga,
  • Richard S. Brush,
  • Michael T. Sullivan,
  • William E. Sonntag,
  • Robert E. Anderson

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 58, no. 4
pp. 668 – 680


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We present here a quantitative molecular blueprint of the three major glycerophospholipid (GPL) classes, phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylserine (PS), and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), in retina and six regions of the brain in C57Bl6 mice at 2, 10, and 26 months of age. We found an age-related increase in molecular species containing saturated and monoenoic FAs and an overall decrease in the longer-chain PUFA molecular species across brain regions, with loss of DHA-containing molecular species as the most consistent and dramatic finding. Although we found very-long-chain PUFAs (VLC-PUFAs) (C28) in PC in the retina, no detectable levels were found in any brain region at any of the ages examined. All brain regions (except hippocampus and retina) showed a significant increase with age in PE plasmalogens. All three retina GPLs had di-PUFA molecular species (predominantly 44:12), which were most abundant in PS (∼30%). In contrast, low levels of di-PUFA GPL (1–2%) were found in all regions of the brain. This study provides a regional and age-related assessment of the brain's lipidome with a level of detail, inclusion, and quantification that has not heretofore been published.