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NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY LETTERS
including Psychoneuroimmunology, Neuropsychopharmacology,
Reproductive Medicine, Chronobiology
and Human Ethology, ISSN 0172–780X

NEL Vol.24 No.1/2, Feb-Apr 2003

NEW SECTION
Technical developments and
novel technologies*

LEADING RESEARCH PAPER

2003; 24:67
pii: NEL241203E01
PMID: 12743525

[Read pdf 491kb]

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Direct analysis of neuropeptides by in situ MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry in the rat brain

Isabelle Fournier, Robert Day, Michel Salzet

1. Laboratoire de Neuroimmunologie des Annélides, UMR CNRS 8017, SN3, Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, F-59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, FRANCE.
2. Département de Pharmacologie, Institut de Pharmacologie de Sherbrooke, Université de Sherbrooke, 3001, 12e Avenue Nord Sherbrooke, Québec, CANADA J1H 5N4.

Submitted: November 7, 2002 Accepted: November 12, 2002

Key words:
in situ Maldi-TOF; neuroimmunity; mass spectrometry; vasopressin

Abstract

The measure of neuropeptides is an important tool in biology to better define endocrine and neuroendocrine function. Traditionally most methods have relied on the development of specific antibodies. Newer molecular methodologies have used measures of gene expression of neuropeptide precursors, such as Northern blot, PCR or in situ hybridization analysis. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass analysis is a novel powerful technique for investigation of neuropeptides. Multiple peptides and peptide forms can be detected simultaneously and with great sensitivity in tissue extracts or partially purified samples. We have now adapted a MALDI methodology for the direct measurement of neuropeptides on fresh tissue sections of rat brains. We have validated the method by examining peptidergic mass profiles of the supraoptic nucleus (SON) and caudate putamen hypothalamic regions. Interestingly, mass profiles showed that vasopressin, which is specifically present in the SON, is modulated when animals are treated with lipopolysaccharides. MALDI-MS on brain slides is a novel complementary technique for neurobiologists and endocrinologists in order to investigate the dynamic and regional distribution of neuropeptides during physiological events.


* The note from the Editor-in-Chief: I would like to express a sincere gratitude to Professor Michel Salzet for his initiative to open a new section in the Neuroendocrinology Letters devoted to technical developments in neuroendocrinology, neurosciences, neuroimmunology, neurogenetic, psychoneuroimmunology, neuropharmacology, neuroproteomic, neuroimage. The aim of this section is to highlight novel technologies for brain research studies, and is opened here with the leading paper by Isabelle Fournier, Robert Day and Michel Salzet.

 

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