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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2010 Mar;108(3):697-704. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00658.2009. Epub 2010 Jan 14.

Analyses of mouse breath with ion mobility spectrometry: a feasibility study.

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  • 1ISAS-Institute for Analytical Sciences, Department of Metabolomics, Bunsen-Kirchhoff-Strasse 11, 44139 Dortmund, Germany.


Exhaled breath can provide comprehensive information about the metabolic state of the subject. Breath analysis carried out during animal experiments promises to increase the information obtained from a particular experiment significantly. This feasibility study should demonstrate the potential of ion mobility spectrometry for animal breath analysis, even for mice. In the framework of the feasibility study, an ion mobility spectrometer coupled with a multicapillary column for rapid preseparation was used to analyze the breath of orotracheally intubated spontaneously breathing mice during anesthesia for the very first time. The sampling procedure was validated successfully. Furthermore, the breath of four mice (2 healthy control mice, 2 with allergic airway inflammation) was analyzed. Twelve peaks were identified directly by comparison with a database. Additional mass spectrometric analyses were carried out for validation and for identification of unknown signals. Significantly different patterns of metabolites were detected in healthy mice compared with asthmatic mice, thus demonstrating the feasibility of analyzing mouse breath with ion mobility spectrometry. However, further investigations including a higher animal number for validation and identification of unknown signals are needed. Nevertheless, the results of the study demonstrate that the method is capable of rapid analyses of the breath of mice, thus significantly increasing the information obtained from each particular animal experiment.

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