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Identification of the oleic acid ethanolamide (OEA) isomer cis-vaccenic acid ethanolamide (VEA) as a highly abundant 18:1 fatty acid ethanolamide in blood plasma from rats and humans

Röhrig, Waldemar, Waibel, Reiner, Perlwitz, Christopher, Pischetsrieder, Monika, Hoch, Tobias
Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry 2016 v.408 no.22 pp. 6141-6151
binding capacity, blood plasma, cannabinoid receptors, food intake, humans, isomers, oleic acid, rats, tandem mass spectrometry, vaccenic acid
The endocannabinoid system is important in various physiological pathways, especially the regulation of food intake. It consists of endocannabinoids like 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol (2-AG) or the fatty acid ethanolamide archachidonoyl-ethanolamide (AEA) with binding affinity to cannabinoid receptors. Further, fatty acid ethanolamides (FAEAs) influence the endocannabinoid system without affecting cannabinoid receptors by using independent physiological pathways. Among FAEAs, oleic acid ethanolamide (OEA) gained importance because of its promising ability to reduce food intake. By ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography–electrospray ionization–tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC–ESI–MS/MS), we detected a chromatographically separated molecule in plasma samples from rats and humans with identical mass and fragmentation patterns as those of OEA. Via synthesis and extensive analysis of ethanolamides of different cis/trans- and position isomers of oleic acid (cis9-18:1), we could identify the unknown molecule as vaccenic acid (cis11-18:1) ethanolamide (VEA). In this study we identified VEA as the most abundant 18:1 FAEA in rat plasma and the second most abundant 18:1 FAEA in human plasma.