Arachidonic acid (AA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) derived lipids play key roles in initiating and resolving inflammation. Neuro-inflammation is thought to play a causal role in perioperative neurocognitive disorders, yet the role of these lipids in the human central nervous system in such disorders is unclear. Here we used liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry to quantify AA, DHA, and EPA derived lipid levels in non-centrifuged cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), centrifuged CSF pellets, and centrifuged CSF supernatants of older adults obtained before, 24 h and 6 weeks after surgery. GAGE analysis was used to determine AA, DHA and EPA metabolite pathway changes over time. Lipid mediators derived from AA, DHA and EPA were detected in all sample types. Postoperative lipid mediator changes were not significant in non-centrifuged CSF (p > 0.05 for all three pathways). The AA metabolite pathway showed significant changes in centrifuged CSF pellets and supernatants from before to 24 h after surgery (p = 0.0000247, p = 0.0155 respectively), from before to 6 weeks after surgery (p = 0.0000497, p = 0.0155, respectively), and from 24 h to 6 weeks after surgery (p = 0.0000499, p = 0.00363, respectively). These findings indicate that AA, DHA, and EPA derived lipids are detectable in human CSF, and the AA metabolite pathway shows postoperative changes in centrifuged CSF pellets and supernatants.
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