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Blutke, Andreas, Sun, Na, Xu, Zhihao, Buck, Achim, Harrison, Luke, Schriever, Sonja C., Pfluger, Paul T., Wiles, David, Kunzke, Thomas, Huber, Katharina, Schlegel, Jürgen, Aichler, Michaela, Feuchtinger, Annette, Matiasek, Kaspar, Hauck, Stefanie M. and Walch, Axel (2020): Light sheet fluorescence microscopy guided MALDI-imaging mass spectrometry of cleared tissue samples. In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 10, No. 1, 14461 [PDF, 1MB]


Light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) of optically cleared biological samples represents a powerful tool to analyze the 3-dimensional morphology of tissues and organs. Multimodal combinations of LSFM with additional analyses of the identical sample help to limit the consumption of restricted specimen and reduce inter-sample variation. Here, we demonstrate the proof-of-concept that LSFM of cleared brain tissue samples can be combined with Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization-Mass Spectrometry Imaging (MALDI-MSI) for detection and quantification of proteins. Samples of freshly dissected murine brain and of archived formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) human brain tissue were cleared (3DISCO). Tissue regions of interest were defined by LSFM and excised, (re)-embedded in paraffin, and sectioned. Mouse sections were coated with sinapinic acid matrix. Human brain sections were pre-digested with trypsin and coated with alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamic acid matrix. Subsequently, sections were subjected to MALDI-time-of-flight (TOF)-MSI in mass ranges between 0.8 to 4 kDa (human tissue sections), or 2.5-25 kDa (mouse tissue sections) with a lateral resolution of 50 mu m. Protein- and peptide-identities corresponding to acquired MALDI-MSI spectra were confirmed by parallel liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis. The spatial abundance- and intensity-patterns of established marker proteins detected by MALDI-MSI were also confirmed by immunohistochemistry.

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