Plasma Linoleate Diols Are Potential Biomarkers for Severe COVID-19 Infections

Cindy B. McReynolds, Irene Cortes-Puch, Resmi Ravindran, Imran H. Khan, Bruce G. Hammock, Pei an Betty Shih, Bruce D Hammock, Jun Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Polyunsaturated fatty acids are metabolized into regulatory lipids important for initiating inflammatory responses in the event of disease or injury and for signaling the resolution of inflammation and return to homeostasis. The epoxides of linoleic acid (leukotoxins) regulate skin barrier function, perivascular and alveolar permeability and have been associated with poor outcomes in burn patients and in sepsis. It was later reported that blocking metabolism of leukotoxins into the vicinal diols ameliorated the deleterious effects of leukotoxins, suggesting that the leukotoxin diols are contributing to the toxicity. During quantitative profiling of fatty acid chemical mediators (eicosanoids) in COVID-19 patients, we found increases in the regioisomeric leukotoxin diols in plasma samples of hospitalized patients suffering from severe pulmonary involvement. In rodents these leukotoxin diols cause dramatic vascular permeability and are associated with acute adult respiratory like symptoms. Thus, pathways involved in the biosynthesis and degradation of these regulatory lipids should be investigated in larger biomarker studies to determine their significance in COVID-19 disease. In addition, incorporating diols in plasma multi-omics of patients could illuminate the COVID-19 pathological signature along with other lipid mediators and blood chemistry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number663869
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021


  • ARDS
  • COVID-19
  • DiHOME
  • EpOME
  • inflammation
  • leukotoxin
  • linoleate diol
  • lipid mediators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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