Host: School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Speaker: Professor Anna Nicolaou, Professor of Biological Chemistry in the Bradford School of Pharmacy
About the event:
The development of lipidomics has opened new opportunities for lipid biology allowing the full characterisation of lipid molecular species produced by multiple pathways and substrates, and present in a variety of biological milieus. This approach relies on mass spectrometry-based assays and offers a sensitive and versatile platform to study lipids without the constraints of performing lengthy multiple analytical steps or relying on single-metabolite assays, traditionally associated with lipid analysis.
The targeted approach of mediator lipidomics deals with the qualitative and quantitative analysis of bioactive metabolites of fatty acids and phospholipid derivatives that participate in intracellular signalling and communication. Class members include mediators derived from long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) and generated by cyclooxygenase (COX), lipoxygenase (LOX) and cytochrome P450 enzymes (such as eicosanoids, docosanoids, octadecanoids, HODEs, HETEs, HEPEs, ETEs, lipoxins, resolvins, docosatrienes, and neuroprotectins). These lipids are intimately involved in inflammation and immunity.
We have used mediator lipidomics to explore the role of PUFA-derived lipids in skin inflammation, using the sunburn response as a model system. This revealed the temporal contribution of different lipids starting with an early rise of COX-produced prostaglandins followed by a class switch to LOX-produced hydroxy-eicosatetraenoic acids that may regulate subsequent events leading to inflammation resolution. The differential contribution of eicosanoids in skin of individuals prone and resistant to UVR is also of interest, whilst nutritional supplementation with n-3PUFA revealed the increased formation of anti-inflammatory protective species suggesting a possible role in wound healing and photoprotection.
Overall, the results of these studies exemplify the prowess and potential of mediator lipidomics as a tool for discovery of lipid biomarkers of specific diseases as well as in the assessment of nutritional and pharmacological interventions.
A Nicolaou - Biography:
Anna Nicolaou is Professor of Biological Chemistry in the Bradford School of Pharmacy. She received her BSc in Chemistry and PhD in Biological Chemistry from the University of Athens, and trained as postdoctoral fellow at the School of Pharmacy, University of London. Anna has been working on the molecular mechanism of action of Bioactive Lipids such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, eicosanoids, endocannabinoids and phospholipids using mass spectrometry-based Lipidomics and aiming to explore the role of lipid networks in health and disease; her work has been supported by research councils, charities and industry. She is currently co-chair of the Lipidomics division of Euro Fed Lipid and associate editor for PLEFA and EJLST.