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Lipid Structural Effects of Oral Administration of Methylphenidate in Drosophila Brain by Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry Imaging

Journal article
Authors Nhu TN Phan
John S. Fletcher
Andrew G Ewing
Published in Analytical Chemistry
Volume 87
Issue 8
Pages 4063-4071
ISSN 0003-2700
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 4063-4071
Language en
Subject categories Analytical Chemistry


We use time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) imaging to investigate the effects of orally administrated methylphenidate on lipids in the brain of Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly), a major invertebrate model system in biological study and neuroscience. TOF-SIMS imaging was carried out using a recently designed high energy 40 keV Ar-4000(+) gas cluster ion gun which demonstrated improved sensitivity for intact lipids in the fly brain compared to the 40 keV C-60(+) primary ion gun. In addition, correlation of TOF-SIMS and SEM imaging on the same fly brain showed that there is specific localization that is related to biological functions of various biomolecules. Different lipids distribute in different parts of the brain, central brain, optical lobes, and proboscis, depending on the length of the carbon chain and saturation level of fatty acid (FA) branches. Furthermore, data analysis using image principal components analysis (PCA) showed that methylphenidate dramatically affected both the distribution and abundance of lipids and their derivatives, particularly fatty acids, diacylglycerides, phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, and phosphatidylinositol in the fly brains. Our approach using TOF-SIMS imaging successfully visualizes the effects of methylphenidate on the chemical structure of the fly brain.

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