High Spatial Resolution Imaging of Mouse Pancreatic Islets Using Nanospray Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry.
IF: 8.008
Cited by: 48


Nanospray Desorption Electrospray Ionization mass spectrometry imaging (nano-DESI MSI) enables ambient imaging of biological samples with high sensitivity and minimal sample pretreatment. Recently, we developed an approach for constant-distance mode MSI using shear force microscopy to precisely control the distance between the sample and the nano-DESI probe. Herein, we demonstrate the power of this approach for robust imaging of pancreatic islets with high spatial resolution of ∼11 μm. Pancreatic islets are difficult to characterize using traditional mass spectrometry approaches due to their small size (∼100 μm) and molecular heterogeneity. Nano-DESI MSI was used to examine the spatial localization of several lipid classes including phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), sphingomyelin (SM), phosphatidylinositol (PI), and phosphatidylserine (PS) along with fatty acids and their metabolites (e.g., prostaglandins) in the individual islets and surrounding tissue. Several lipids were found to be substantially enhanced in the islets indicating these lipids may be involved in insulin secretion. Remarkably different distributions were observed for several pairs of Lyso PC (LPC) and PC species differing only by one double bond, such as LPC 18:1 vs LPC 18:0, PC 32:1 vs PC 32:0, and PC 34:2 vs PC 34:1. These findings indicate that minor variations in the fatty acid chain length and saturation have a pronounced effect on the localization of PC and LPC species in pancreatic islets. Interestingly, oxidized PC species observed experimentally were found to be specifically localized to pancreatic islets. These PCs are potential biomarkers for reactive oxygen species in the islets, which could be harmful to pancreatic beta cells. The experimental approach presented in this study will provide valuable information on the heterogeneity of individual pancreatic islets, which is difficult to assess using bulk characterization techniques.



MeSH terms

Islets of Langerhans
Mice, Inbred Strains
Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization


Yin, Ruichuan
Kyle, Jennifer
Burnum-Johnson, Kristin
Bloodsworth, Kent J
Sussel, Lori
Ansong, Charles
Laskin, Julia

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