Probing the lipid chemistry of neurotoxin-induced hippocampal lesions using multimodal imaging mass spectrometry
Paper in proceedings, 2014

The environmental toxin -N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) has been causatively linked to neurodegenerative disease pathology. In a rat model, neonatal BMAA resulted in selective uptake in the hippocampal formation and caused learning and memory impairments in adult animals. Moreover, high dose neonatal BMAA exposure resulted in formation of histopathological lesions in the CA1 region of the adult hippocampus; however, the mechanism underlying BMAA induced neuropathology remains elusive. Imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) is a powerful method for spatial interrogation of biochemical distribution in biological tissue with high chemical specificity. The aim of this study was to therefore characterize the lipid microenvironment of BMAA-induced hippocampal lesions in adult rats using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) and time-of-flight SIMS (ToF-SIMS imaging). Multimodal imaging was carried out by ToF-SIMS scans of the hippocampal formation followed by whole tissue scans using MALDI imaging. Multivariate analysis was performed on the SIMS data in order to delineate the spatial biochemistry surrounding the lesions. The data show lesion-specific localization of phosphatidylcholine fragments, suggesting neuroinflammatory glial cell activation. Complementary MALDI imaging data showed increased levels of phosphoethanolamines colocalizing with the proteopathic lesions pointing to macroautophagic mechanisms associated with neurotoxin-induced protein accumulation. Multimodal IMS by means of ToF-SIMS and MALDI mass spectrometry proved to be a powerful technique for neurotoxicological research.

time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS)

imaging mass spectrometry (IMS)

ionization (MALDI)

matrix-assisted laser desorption

beta-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA)




Jörg Hanrieder

University of Gothenburg

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Analytical Chemistry

Oskar Karlsson

Uppsala University

Eva B. Brittebo

Uppsala University

Per Malmberg

University of Gothenburg

Andrew Ewing

Chalmers, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Analytical Chemistry

University of Gothenburg

Surface and Interface Analysis

0142-2421 (ISSN) 1096-9918 (eISSN)

Vol. 46 S1 375-378

Subject Categories

Analytical Chemistry

Chemical Engineering



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