Non-Polar Lipid Components of Human Cerumen

Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry AS CR, v.v.i., Flemingovo náměstí 2, 16610, Prague 6, Czech Republic.
Lipids (Impact Factor: 1.85). 05/2011; 46(8):781-8. DOI: 10.1007/s11745-011-3564-y
Source: PubMed


Human cerumen was separated by column chromatography into the following groups of compounds: hydrocarbons, squalene, wax esters and cholesterol esters, triacylglycerols, free fatty acids, free fatty alcohols, monoacylglycerols, free cholesterol, free sterols, and free hydroxy acids. The groups of compounds obtained were examined in detail by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. In total, about one thousand compounds have been identified.

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Available from: Irena Valterová, May 15, 2015
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    • "However, the lipid content of cerumen from inflamed ears is significantly lower than from healthy ears [7]. Regarding the lipid composition of human cerumen, several studies have demonstrated high amounts of cholesterol, sterol ester and fatty acids [9,10,13], but there is a lack of information about canine cerumen lipids except for fatty acids which are found regularly and in high quantities in OE-affected ears [14]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Unlabelled: Human cerumen, also called earwax, is a substance secreted by various glands in the outer ear canal. Although the variation of texture and color during otorhinolaryngological diseases is a generally known phenomenon, cerumen as biofluid remains relatively unexplored. However, there is an emerging interest for protein biomarkers which are easily accessible and predictive for diagnostics and therapy outcome. Here we provide a thorough investigation of human cerumen applying two different prefractionation techniques: i) 1D-PAGE prefractionation with subsequent LC-MS/MS, and ii) online SCX-fractionation coupled to LC-MS/MS. Additionally, individual variation was addressed by shotgun LC-MS/MS of specimens from 5 subjects. In total, we identified 11,562 distinct peptides representing 2013 proteins in human cerumen. The in-depth characterization revealed a high complexity of cerumen comparable with other human biofluids such as urine, plasma, or saliva. A probiotic or antibiotic character of cerumen has previously been discussed. In this study we provide further evidence for the important role of cerumen as an antimicrobial barrier and in local immune response, e.g. by assessing high amounts of zinc-alpha-2-glycoprotein. Biological significance: Practical implications: Cerumen analysis might have promising potential as diagnostic body fluid for biomarker characterization and disease specific objectives. Disease-associated or infection-specific changes may support diagnostics in otorhinolaryngology and may lead to a better understanding of human cerumen's function in immune response. An easy-to-handle and standardized sample collection and preparation of cerumen can further improve individualized medicine strategies.
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