We describe a linear ion-trap (LIT) multiple-stage (MSn) mass spectrometric approach towards differentiation of alkylacyl, alk-1-enylacyl- and diacyl-glycerophoscholines (PCs) as the [M - 15]- ions desorbed by electrospray ionization (ESI) in the negative-ion mode. The MS4 mass spectra of the [M - 15 - R2′CH = CO]- ions originated from the three PC subfamilies are readily distinguishable, resulting in unambiguous distinction of the lipid classes. This method is applied to two alkyl ether rich PC mixtures isolated from murine bone marrow neutrophils and kidney, respectively, to explore its utility in the characterization of complex PC mixture of biological origin, resulting in the realization of the detailed structures of the PC species, including various classes and many minor isobaric isomers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1412-1420
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Bone marrow neutrophil
  • Kidney
  • Linear ion-trap mass spectrometry
  • Phosphatidylcholine
  • Plasmanylcholine
  • Plasmenylcholine


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