Patients with diabetes are at higher risk of developing carotid artery stenosis and resultant stroke. Arachidonoyl phospholipids affect plaque inflammation and vulnerability, but whether diabetic patients have unique carotid artery phospholipidomic profiles is unknown. We performed a comprehensive paired analysis of phospholipids in extracranial carotid endarterectomy (CEA) plaques of matched diabetic and nondiabetic patients and analyzed mass spectrometry-derived profiles of three phospholipids, plasmenyl-phosphatidylethanolamine (pPE), phosphatidylserine (PS), and phosphatidylinositol (PI), in maximally (MAX) and minimally (MIN) diseased CEA segments. We also measured levels of arachidonic acid (AA), produced by pPE hydrolysis, and choline-ethanolamine phosphotransferase 1 (CEPT1), responsible for most pPE de novo biosynthesis. In paired analysis, MIN CEA segments had higher levels than MAX segments of pPE (P < 0.001), PS (P < 0.001), and PI (P < 0.03). MIN diabetic plaques contained higher levels than MAX diabetic plaques of arachidonoyl pPE38:4 and pPE38:5 and CEPT1 was upregulated in diabetic versus nondiabetic plaques. AA levels were relatively greater in MIN versus MAX segments of all CEA segments, and were higher in diabetic than nondiabetic plaques. Our findings suggest that arachidonoyl phospholipids are more likely to be abundant in the extracranial carotid artery plaque of diabetic rather than nondiabetic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)730-738
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of lipid research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2018


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