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Issue 12, 2016
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Quantitative mass spectrometry imaging of small-molecule neurotransmitters in rat brain tissue sections using nanospray desorption electrospray ionization

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Abstract

Small molecule neurotransmitters are essential for the function of the nervous system, and neurotransmitter imbalances are often connected to neurological disorders. The ability to quantify such imbalances is important to provide insights into the biochemical mechanisms underlying the disorder. This proof-of-principle study presents online quantification of small molecule neurotransmitters, specifically acetylcholine, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and glutamate, in rat brain tissue sections using nanospray desorption electrospray ionization (nano-DESI) mass spectrometry imaging. By incorporating deuterated internal standards in the nano-DESI solvent we show identification, accurate mapping, and quantification of these small neurotransmitters in rat brain tissue without introducing any additional sample preparation steps. We find that GABA is about twice as abundant in the medial septum-diagonal band complex (MSDB) as in the cortex, while glutamate is about twice as abundant in the cortex as compared to the MSDB. The study shows that nano-DESI is well suited for imaging of small molecule neurotransmitters in health and disease.

Graphical abstract: Quantitative mass spectrometry imaging of small-molecule neurotransmitters in rat brain tissue sections using nanospray desorption electrospray ionization

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
22 Dec 2015
Accepted
02 Feb 2016
First published
03 Feb 2016

Analyst, 2016,141, 3686-3695
Article type
Paper

Quantitative mass spectrometry imaging of small-molecule neurotransmitters in rat brain tissue sections using nanospray desorption electrospray ionization

H. Bergman, E. Lundin, M. Andersson and I. Lanekoff, Analyst, 2016, 141, 3686
DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02620B

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