MALDI imaging delineates hippocampal glycosphingolipid changes associated with neurotoxin induced proteopathy following neonatal BMAA exposure
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2017

The environmental toxin S-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been proposed to contribute to neurodegenerative diseases. We have previously shown that neonatal exposure to BMAA results in dose-dependent cognitive impairments, proteomic alterations and progressive neurodegeneration in the hippocampus of adult rats. A high BMAA dose (460 mg/kg) also induced intracellular fibril formation, increased protein ubiquitination and enrichment of proteins important for lipid transport and metabolism. The aim of this study was therefore to elucidate the role of neuronal lipids in BMAA-induced neurodegeneration. By using matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI IMS), we characterized the spatial lipid profile in the hippocampus of six month-old rats that were treated neonatally (postnatal days 9-10) with 460 mg/kg BMAA. Multivariate statistical analysis revealed long-term changes in distinct ganglioside species (GM, GD, GT) in the dentate gyrus. These changes could be a consequence of direct effects on ganglioside biosynthesis through the b-series (GM3-GD3-GD2-GD1b-GT1b) and may be linked to astrogliosis. Complementary immunohistochemistry experiments towards GFAP and sloop further verified the role of increased astrocyte activity in BMAA-induced brain damage. This highlights the potential of imaging MS for probing chemical changes associated with neuropathological mechanisms in situ. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: MALDI Imaging, edited by Dr. Corinna Henkel and Prof. Peter Hoffmann. (

Environmental toxin

Imaging mass spectrometry


Beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA)


Oskar Karlsson

Harvard School of Public Health

Uppsala universitet

Karolinska Institutet

W. Michno

Göteborgs universitet

Y. Ransome

Harvard School of Public Health

Jörg Hanrieder

Göteborgs universitet

Chalmers, Kemi och kemiteknik, Kemi och biokemi

Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics

1570-9639 (ISSN)

Vol. 1865 7 740-746


Biokemi och molekylärbiologi




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