Lipidomics of equine amniotic fluid: Identification of amphiphilic (O-acyl)-ω-hydroxy-fatty acids

Paul L. Wood, Barry A. Ball, Kirsten Scoggin, Mats H. Troedsson, Edward L. Squires

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Amniotic fluid is essential for the growth and maturation of the fetus prior to parturition. While our knowledge of human amniotic fluid is extensive, current data for equine amniotic fluid is limited. We therefore undertook a detailed lipidomics analysis of equine amniotic fluid. Using a non-targeted high-resolution mass spectrometric lipidomics analysis of equine amniotic fluid, we were able to characterize a diverse array of individual lipids. This non-biased analytical approach detected, for the first time, the presence of (O-acyl)-ω-hydroxy-fatty acids (OAHFA) with up to 52 carbon chain lengths in amniotic fluid. The identities of these lipid amphiphiles were validated both by high-resolution mass spectrometry and by tandem mass spectrometry (<2 ppm mass error) which identified the fatty acid and hydroxy-fatty acid components of individual OAHFAs. The only previous identification of OAHFAs has been in sperm and meibomian glands, and their sebaceous secretions, suggesting that these lipids may have unique functional roles in highly specialized compartments. The amphiphilic and surfactant properties of these unique lipids could provide an interface between amniotic lipids and fetal skin and/or lungs. The potential roles of OAHFAs as well as their source in amniotic fluid remain to be explored based upon these novel lipidomics findings but our study of the developmental time course of amniotic OAHFAs suggest that they may act as lubricants in delivery and/or a role in the development of fetal lung function around parturition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-125
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017


  • (O-acyl)-ω-hydroxy-fatty acids
  • Amniotic fluid
  • Equine
  • Glycerophospholipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine


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