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Delineating Amyloid Plaque Associated Neuronal Sphingolipids in Transgenic Alzheimer's Disease Mice (tgArcSwe) Using MALDI Imaging Mass Spectrometry.

Journal article
Authors Ibrahim Kaya
Dimitri Brinet
Wojciech Michno
Stina Syvänen
Dag Sehlin
Henrik Zetterberg
Kaj Blennow
Jörg Hanrieder
Published in ACS chemical neuroscience
Volume 8
Issue 2
Pages 347-355
ISSN 1948-7193
Publication year 2017
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 347-355
Language en
Subject categories Neurosciences


The major pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are the progressive aggregation and accumulation of beta-amyloid (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau protein into neurotoxic deposits. Aβ aggregation has been suggested as the critical early inducer, driving the disease progression. However, the factors that promote neurotoxic Aβ aggregation remain elusive. Imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) is a powerful technique to comprehensively elucidate the spatial distribution patterns of lipids, peptides, and proteins in biological tissue sections. In the present study, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry (MS)-based imaging was used on transgenic Alzheimer's disease mouse (tgArcSwe) brain tissue to investigate the sphingolipid microenvironment of individual Aβ plaques and elucidate plaque-associated sphingolipid alterations. Multivariate data analysis was used to interrogate the IMS data for identifying pathologically relevant, anatomical features based on their lipid chemical profile. This approach revealed sphingolipid species that distinctly located to cortical and hippocampal deposits, whose Aβ identity was further verified using fluorescent amyloid staining and immunohistochemistry. Subsequent multivariate statistical analysis of the spectral data revealed significant localization of gangliosides and ceramides species to Aβ positive plaques, which was accompanied by distinct local reduction of sulfatides. These plaque-associated changes in sphingolipid levels implicate a functional role of sphingolipid metabolism in Aβ plaque pathology and AD pathogenesis. Taken together, the presented data highlight the potential of imaging mass spectrometry as a powerful approach for probing Aβ plaque-associated lipid changes underlying AD pathology.

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