Lipidomic analysis and electron transport chain activities in C57BL/6J mouse brain mitochondria

Michael A. Kiebish, Xianlin Han, Hua Cheng, Adam Lunceford, Catherine F. Clarke, Hwi Moon, Jeffrey H. Chuang, Thomas N. Seyfried

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to characterize the lipidome and electron transport chain activities in purified non-synaptic (NS) and synaptic (Syn) mitochondria from C57BL/6J mouse cerebral cortex. Contamination from subcellular membranes, especially myelin, has hindered past attempts to accurately characterize the lipid composition of brain mitochondria. An improved Ficoll and sucrose discontinuous gradient method was employed that yielded highly enriched mitochondrial populations free of myelin contamination. The activities of Complexes I, II, III, and II/III were lower in Syn than in NS mitochondria, while Complexes I/III and IV activities were similar in both populations. Shotgun lipidomics showed that levels of cardiolipin (Ptd2Gro) were lower, whereas levels of ceramide and phosphatidylserine were higher in Syn than in NS mitochondria. Coenzyme Q9 and Q10 was also lower in Syn than in NS mitochondria. Gangliosides, phosphatidic acid, sulfatides, and cerebrosides were undetectable in brain mitochondria. The distribution of Ptd2Gro molecular species was similar in both populations and formed a unique pattern, consisting of seven major molecular species groups, when arranged according to mass to charge ratios. Remodeling involving choline and ethanolamine phosphoglycerides could explain Ptd2Gro heterogeneity. NS and Syn mitochondrial lipidomic heterogeneity could influence energy metabolism, which may contribute to metabolic compartmentation of the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-312
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiolipin
  • Lipidome
  • Myelin
  • Non-synaptic
  • Shotgun lipidomics
  • Synaptic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Biochemistry


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