The primary products from peroxidation of linoleate in biological tissues and fluids are the hydroperoxy octadecadienoates, and the products normally assayed, after reduction of the hydroperoxides, are the corresponding hydroxy octadecadienoates (HODEs). The HODEs are found in tissues and fluids as a mixture of Z,E and E,E stereoisomers. Two regioisomeric sets of Z,E and E,E stereoisomers are normally observed with substitution at the 9- and 13-positions of the 18-carbon chain. The Z,E/E,E product ratio has proved to be a useful means for assessing the reducing capacity of the medium undergoing peroxidation. The HODE Z,E/E,E product ratios previously reported for tissues such as liver and brain vary from 0.5 to 2.0, and plasma ratios are somewhat higher, between 2.0 and 3.0. The reported literature protocols for HODE assay in tissues involve homogenization, reduction with sodium borohydride in the presence of BHT, and ester hydrolysis with KOH to give the free HODEs. This is followed by either reverse-phase HPLC of the free acid HODEs or by conversion to TMS derivatives and GC-MS. When sodium borohydride is replaced in the protocol by triphenylphosphine, a gentler reducing agent, HODE Z,E/E,E product ratios are much higher, and lower total HODE levels of are found. It is proposed that inclusion of sodium borohydride in the isolation procedures leads to ex vivo reactions that are avoided if triphenylphosphine is used as the reducing agent. Modified protocols for HODE analyses (tissue and plasma methods #2) are described that should be used for assays of tissues and fluids.
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