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Expert Rev Proteomics. 2008 Jun;5(3):413-24. doi: 10.1586/14789450.5.3.413.

Tissue imaging using MALDI-MS: a new frontier of histopathology proteomics.

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Laboratoire de Neurobiologie des Annélides, FRE CNRS 2933, MALDI Imaging Team, University of Lille 1, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France.


Modern pathology is an amalgam of many disciplines, such as microbiology, biochemistry and immunology, which historically have been intermingled with the practice of clinical medicine. For centuries, the pre-eminent pathological tool, at least in the context of patients, was a post-mortem examination. With the advent of optical microscopes, morphology became a predominant means of developing tissue classification. A further paradigm shift occurred in the attempt to understand the nature and origin of disease; the recognition that, ultimately, it is the derangement in the structure and function of genes and proteins that causes human disease. More recent progress in pathology has led to the use of genomics and molecular technologies, including DNA sequencing, microarray analysis, PCR, in situ hybridization and proteomics. Today, the newest frontier appears to be histopathology proteomics, which adds the mass spectrometer to the arsenal of tools for the direct analysis of tissue biopsies and molecular diagnosis. Typically called MALDI imaging, this technique takes mass spectral snapshots of intact tissue slices, revealing how proteins and peptides are spatially distributed within a given sample. In this review, MALDI imaging technology is presented as well as applications of such technology in cancer or neurodegenerative diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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