Lipidomic profiling of adipose tissue reveals an inflammatory signature in cancer-related and primary lymphedema

Lisa M. Sedger, Dedreia L. Tull, Malcolm J. McConville, David P. De Souza, Thusitha W T Rupasinghe, Spencer J. Williams, Saravanan Dayalan, Daniel Lanzer, Helen Mackie, Thomas C. Lam, John Boyages

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Cancer-related and primary lymphedema (LE) are associated with the production of adipose tissue (AT). Nothing is known, however, about the lipid-based molecules that comprise LE AT. We therefore analyzed lipid molecules in lipoaspirates and serum obtained from LE patients, and compared them to lipoaspirates from cosmetic surgery patients and healthy control cohort serum. LE patient serum analysis demonstrated that triglycerides, HDL- and LDL-cholesterol and lipid transport molecules remained within the normal range, with no alterations in individual fatty acids. The lipidomic analysis also identified 275 lipid-based molecules, including triacylglycerides, diacylglycerides, fatty acids and phospholipids in AT oil and fat. Although the majority of lipid molecules were present in a similar abundance in LE and non-LE samples, there were several small changes: increased C20:5-containing triacylglycerides, reduced C10:0 caprinic and C24:1 nervonic acids. LE AT oil also contained a signature of increased cyclopropane-type fatty acids and inflammatory mediators arachidonic acid and ceramides. Interestingly C20:5 and C22:6 omega-3-type lipids are increased in LE AT, correlating with LE years. Hence, LE AT has a normal lipid profile containing a signature of inflammation and omega-3-lipids. It remains unclear, however, whether these differences reflect a small-scale global metabolic disturbance or effects within localised inflammatory foci.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0154650
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 16 May 2016

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Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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