Characterizing the phospholipid profiles in mammalian tissues by MALDI FTMS

by Jones, Jeffrey James; Borgmann, Sabine; Wilkins, Charles L.; O'Brien, Richard M.

Discussed here is an analytical method for profiling lipids and phospholipids directly from mammalian tissues excised from Mus musculus (house mouse). Biochemical analysis was accomplished through the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) Fourier transform mass spectrometry, where whole tissue sections of mouse brain, heart, and liver were investigated. Lipid and phospholipid ions create complex MALDI mass spectra containing multiple ions with different m/z values corresponding to the same fundamental chemical species. When a computational sorting approach is used to group these ions, the standard deviation for observed relative chemical abundance can be reduced to 6.02%. Relative standard deviations of 10% are commonly accepted for standard chromatographic phospholipid analyses. Average mass measurement accuracy for 232 spectra representing three tissue types from 12 specimens was calculated to be 0.0053 Da. Further it is observed, that the data and the analysis between all the animals have near-identical phospholipid contents in their brain, heart, and liver tissues, respectively. In addition to the need to accurately measure relative abundances of phospholipid species, it is essential to have adequate mass resolution for complete and accurate overall analysis. It is reasonable to make mass composition assignments with spectral resolving power greater than 8000. However, results from the present study reveal 14 instances (C-12 carbon isotope) of multiple m/z ions having the same nominal value that require greater resolution in order that overlap will not occur. Spectra measured here have an average resolving power of 12 000. It is established that high mass resolution and mass accuracy coupled with MALDI ionization provide for rapid and accurate phospholipid analysis of mammalian tissue sections.

Analytical Chemistry
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