Direct tissue analysis of phospholipids in rat brain using MALDI-TOFMS and MALDI-ion mobility-TOFMS

Shelley N. Jackson, Hay Yan J Wang, Amina S. Woods, Michael Ugarov, Thomas Egan, J. Albert Schultz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


After water, lipids are the most common biomolecules found in the brain (12%). A brief perusal of the physiology, anatomy, and pathophysiology of the brain illustrates the importance of lipids. Recent advances in mass spectrometry have allowed the direct probing of tissues. However, most studies have focused on proteins. In the present work, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOFMS) and MALDI-ion mobility (IM)-TOFMS were employed for direct analysis of phospholipids in rat brain tissue. Molecular ions (MH+) corresponding to phosphatidylcholines, phosphatidylethanolamines, and sphingomyelin, were recorded. When studying pharmacology, we learn that many therapeutic compounds are stored in the body's adipose tissue. MALDI-TOFMS and MALDI- IM-TOFMS were thus used to analyze rat brain tissue with chlorisondamine added directly onto the tissue slice. With both techniques, noncovalent complexes between the tissue phospholipids and chlorisondamine were detected. In addition, MALDI-IM-TOFMS of noncovalent complexes between phospholipids and chlorisondamine displayed a mobility between that of an isobaric lipid and peptide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Spectroscopy


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