Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Charles Chalfant


Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is a bioactive lipid with a plethora of biological functions, including roles in cell survival, proliferation, and migration. Although high-performance liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC ESI-MS/MS) technology has been used to measure the levels of LPA in human blood, serum and plasma, current methods cannot readily detect the minute levels of LPA from cell culture. In this study, a novel HPLC ESI-MS/MS method with enhanced sensitivity was developed which allows accurate measurements of LPA levels with a limit of quantitation at approximately 10 femtomoles. The method was validated by quantitation of LPA levels in the media of previously characterized cell lines ectopically expressing autotaxin. Autotaxin overexpression induced an increase in several subspecies of LPA while others remained unchanged. Lastly, this HPLC ESI-MS/MS method was validated via biological assays previously utilized to assay LPA production. Hence, this new HPLC ESI-MS/MS will allow researchers to measure in vitro LPA levels and also distinguish between specific LPA subspecies for the delineation of individual biological mechanisms.


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Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

July 2011