TitleComprehensive analysis of phospholipids in the brain, heart, kidney, and liver: brain phospholipids are least enriched with polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsChoi J, Yin T, Shinozaki K, Lampe JW, Stevens JF, Becker LB, Kim J
JournalMol Cell Biochem
Date Published2018 May
KeywordsAnimals, Brain, Fatty Acids, Unsaturated, Liver, Male, Myocardium, Organ Specificity, Phospholipids, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley

It is commonly accepted that brain phospholipids are highly enriched with long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). However, the evidence for this remains unclear. We used HPLC-MS to analyze the content and composition of phospholipids in rat brain and compared it to the heart, kidney, and liver. Phospholipids typically contain one PUFA, such as 18:2, 20:4, or 22:6, and one saturated fatty acid, such as 16:0 or 18:0. However, we found that brain phospholipids containing monounsaturated fatty acids in the place of PUFAs are highly elevated compared to phospholipids in the heart, kidney, and liver. The relative content of phospholipid containing PUFAs is ~ 60% in the brain, whereas it is over 90% in other tissues. The most abundant species of phosphatidylcholine (PC) is PC(16:0/18:1) in the brain, whereas PC(18:0/20:4) and PC(16:0/20:4) are predominated in other tissues. Moreover, several major species of plasmanyl and plasmenyl phosphatidylethanolamine are found to contain monounsaturated fatty acid in the brain only. Overall, our data clearly show that brain phospholipids are the least enriched with PUFAs of the four major organs, challenging the common belief that the brain is highly enriched with PUFAs.

Alternate JournalMol. Cell. Biochem.
PubMed ID28993959
PubMed Central IDPMC5882520
Grant ListR01 HL067630 / HL / NHLBI NIH HHS / United States
S10 RR027878 / RR / NCRR NIH HHS / United States
RO1HL067630 / / National Institutes of Health /
S10RR027878 / / National Institutes of Health /