A comparison of five lipid extraction solvent systems for lipidomic studies of human LDL

Ana Reis*, Alisa Rudnitskaya, Gavin J. Blackburn, Norsyahida Mohd Fauzi, Andrew R Pitt, Corinne M Spickett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lipidome profile of fluids and tissues is a growing field as the role of lipids as signaling molecules is increasingly understood, relying on an effective and representative extraction of the lipids present. A number of solvent systems suitable for lipid extraction are commonly in use, though no comprehensive investigation of their effectiveness across multiple lipid classes has been carried out. To address this, human LDL from normolipidemic volunteers was used to evaluate five different solvent extraction protocols [Folch, Bligh and Dyer, acidified Bligh and Dyer, methanol (MeOH)-tert-butyl methyl ether (TBME), and hexane-isopropanol] and the extracted lipids were analyzed by LC-MS in a high-resolution instrument equipped with polarity switching. Overall, more than 350 different lipid species from 19 lipid subclasses were identified. Solvent composition had a small effect on the extraction of predominant lipid classes (triacylglycerides, cholesterol esters, and phosphatidylcholines). In contrast, extraction of less abundant lipids (phosphatidylinositols, lyso-lipids, ceramides, and cholesterol sulfates) was greatly influenced by the solvent system used. Overall, the Folch method was most effective for the extraction of a broad range of lipid classes in LDL, although the hexane-isopropanol method was best for apolar lipids and the MeOH-TBME method was suitable for lactosyl ceramides. Copyright © 2013 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1812-1824
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • anova simultaneous component analysis
  • dual polarity
  • lipidomics
  • liquid-liquid extraction
  • orbitrap
  • polarity switching


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