Secondary structure of proteins analyzed ex vivo in vascular wall in diabetic animals using FT-IR spectroscopy
In recent years many methods for ex vivo tissue analysis or diagnosis of diseases have been applied, including infrared absorption spectroscopy. Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) absorption microspectroscopy allows the simultaneous monitoring of the content of various chemical compounds in tissues with both high selectivity and resolution. Imaging of tissue samples in very short time can be performed using a spectrometer equipped with a Focal Plane Array (FPA) detector. Additionally, a detection of minor components or subtle changes associated with the functional status of a tissue sample is possible when advanced methods of data analysis, such as chemometric techniques, are applied. Monitoring of secondary structures of proteins has already proved to be useful in the analysis of animal tissues in disease states. The aim of this work was to build a mathematical model based on FT-IR measurements for the prediction of alterations in the content of secondary structures of proteins analyzed by FT-IR in the vascular wall of diabetic animals. For that purpose a spectral database of proteins of known crystallography and secondary structures was assembled. Thirty-seven proteins were measured by means of two FT-IR techniques: transflection and Attenuated Total Reflectance (ATR). The obtained model was tested on cross-sections of rat tail, for which the content of proteins and their secondary structures was well characterized. Then, the model was applied for the detection of possible alterations in the secondary structures of proteins in the vascular wall of diabetic rats and mice. The obtained results suggest a prominent increase in E- and S-structures and a decrease in the content of H-structures in the vascular wall from diabetic mice and rats. FT-IR-based studies of secondary structures of proteins may be a novel approach to study complex processes ongoing in the vascular wall. The obtained results are satisfactory; however, the existing limitations of the method are also discussed.