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Anal Chem. 2005 Feb 1;77(3):735-41.

Direct molecular imaging of Lymnaea stagnalis nervous tissue at subcellular spatial resolution by mass spectrometry.

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FOM-Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics, Kruislaan 407, 1098 SJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The imaging capabilities of time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) and MALDI-MS sample preparation methods were combined. We used this method, named matrix-enhanced (ME) SIMS, for direct molecular imaging of nervous tissue at micrometer spatial resolution. Cryosections of the cerebral ganglia of the freshwater snail Lymnaea stagnalis were placed on indium-tin-oxide (ITO)-coated conductive glass slides and covered with a thin layer of 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid by electrospray deposition. High-resolution molecular ion maps of cholesterol and the neuropeptide APGWamide were constructed. APGWamide was predominantly localized in the cluster of neurons that regulate male copulation behavior of Lymnaea. ME-SIMS imaging allows direct molecule-specific imaging from tissue sections without labeling and opens a complementary mass window (<2500 Da) to MALDI imaging mass spectrometry at an order of magnitude higher spatial resolution (<3 microm).

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