ToF-SIMS mediated analysis of human lung tissue reveals increased iron deposition in COPD (GOLD IV) patients
Journal article, 2019

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a debilitating lung disease that is currently the third leading cause of death worldwide. Recent reports have indicated that dysfunctional iron handling in the lungs of COPD patients may be one contributing factor. However, a number of these studies have been limited to the qualitative assessment of iron levels through histochemical staining or to the expression levels of iron-carrier proteins in cells or bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. In this study, we have used time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) to visualize and relatively quantify iron accumulation in lung tissue sections of healthy donors versus severe COPD patients. An IONTOF 5 instrument was used to perform the analysis, and further multivariate analysis was used to analyze the data. An orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) score plot revealed good separation between the two groups. This separation was primarily attributed to differences in iron content, as well as differences in other chemical signals possibly associated with lipid species. Further, relative quantitative analysis revealed twelve times higher iron levels in lung tissue sections of COPD patients when compared to healthy donors. In addition, iron accumulation observed within the cells was heterogeneously distributed, indicating cellular compartmentalization.


Neda Najafinobar

AstraZeneca AB

Shalini Venkatesan

AstraZeneca AB

Lena von Sydow

AstraZeneca AB

Magnus Klarqvist

AstraZeneca AB

Henric Olsson

AstraZeneca AB

Xiao Hong Zhou

AstraZeneca AB

Suzanne M. Cloonan

Weill Cornell Medical College

Per Malmberg

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Scientific Reports

2045-2322 (ISSN) 20452322 (eISSN)

Vol. 9 1 10060

Subject Categories

Clinical Laboratory Medicine

Respiratory Medicine and Allergy



Chemical Imaging Infrastructure





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