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ACS Chem Neurosci. 2018 Aug 15;9(8):2089-2096. doi: 10.1021/acschemneuro.8b00163. Epub 2018 Jul 3.

Analysis of Single Neurons by Perforated Patch Clamp Recordings and MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry.


Single-cell mass spectrometry has become an established technique to study specific molecular properties such as the neuropeptide complement of identified neurons. Here, we describe a strategy to characterize, by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, neurochemical composition of neurons that were identified by their electrophysiological and neuroanatomical characteristics. The workflow for the first time combined perforated patch clamp recordings with dye loading by electroporation for electrophysiological and neuroanatomical characterization as well as chemical profiling of somata by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry with subsequent immunohistochemistry. To develop our protocol, we used identified central olfactory neurons from the American cockroach Periplaneta americana. First, the combined approach was optimized using a relative homogeneous, well-characterized neuron population of uniglomerular projection neurons, which show acetylcholine esterase immunoreactivity. The general applicability of this approach was verified on local interneurons, which are a diverse neuron population expressing highly differentiated neuropeptidomes. Thus, this study shows that the newly established protocol is suitable to comprehensively analyze electrophysiological, neuroanatomical, and molecular properties of single neurons. We consider this approach an important step to foster single-cell analysis in a wide variety of neuron types.


MALDI-TOF MS; acetylcholine; insect olfactory system; neuropeptides; perforated patch recording; single-cell analysis

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