Author(s): Deeley JM, Mitchell TW, Wei X, Korth J, Nealon JR,
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Abstract Electrospray ionisation tandem mass spectrometry has allowed the unambiguous identification and quantification of individual lens phospholipids in human and six animal models. Using this approach ca. 100 unique phospholipids have been characterised. Parallel analysis of the same lens extracts by a novel direct-insertion electron-ionization technique found the cholesterol content of human lenses to be significantly higher (ca. 6 times) than lenses from the other animals. The most abundant phospholipids in all the lenses examined were choline-containing phospholipids. In rat, mouse, sheep, cow, pig and chicken, these were present largely as phosphatidylcholines, in contrast 66\% of the total phospholipid in Homo sapiens was sphingomyelin, with the most abundant being dihydrosphingomyelins, in particular SM(d18:0/16:0) and SM(d18:0/24:1). The abundant glycerophospholipids within human lenses were found to be predominantly phosphatidylethanolamines and phosphatidylserines with surprisingly high concentrations of ether-linked alkyl chains identified in both classes. This study is the first to identify the phospholipid class (head-group) and assign the constituent fatty acid(s) for each lipid molecule and to quantify individual lens phospholipids using internal standards. These data clearly indicate marked differences in the membrane lipid composition of the human lens compared to commonly used animal models and thus predict a significant variation in the membrane properties of human lens fibre cells compared to those of other animals.
This article was published in Biochim Biophys Acta
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology