The nasal mucosa (NM) contains olfactory mucosa which contributes to the detection of odorant molecules and the transmission of olfactory information to the brain. To date, the lipid composition of the human NM has not been adequately characterized. Using gas chromatography, liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry and thin layer chromatography, we analyzed the fatty acids and the phospholipid and ceramide molecular species in adult human nasal and blood biopsies. Saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) accounted for 45% and 29% of the nasal total fatty acids, respectively. Fatty acids of the n-6 family were predominant in the PUFA subgroup. Linoleic acid and arachidonic acid (AA) were incorporated in the main nasal phospholipid classes. Correlation analysis revealed that the nasal AA level might be positively associated with olfactory deficiency.
Fig: Box plot representation of fatty acid levels in human nasal mucosa. The results are presented as the median, first and third quartiles, and range (n = 20).
In addition, a strong positive association between the AA levels in the NM and in plasma cholesteryl esters suggested that this blood fraction might be used as an indicator of the nasal AA level. The most abundant species of ceramides and their glycosylated derivatives detected in NM contained palmitic acid and long-chain fatty acids. Overall, this study provides new insight into lipid species that potentially contribute to the maintenance of NM homeostasis and demonstrates that circulating biomarkers might be used to predict nasal fatty acid content.
Khoury, S., Gudziol, V., Grégoire, S. et al. Lipidomic profile of human nasal mucosa and associations with circulating fatty acids and olfactory deficiency. Sci Rep 11, 16771 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-93817-1