In this study, we describe a simple and efficient method for mapping the distribution and localization of all sialylated sphingoglycolipids present in coronal mouse brain sections using a conventional axial matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight. A single scan of a histological tissue section gives a complete profile of ganglioside species without derivatization or labeling. We have developed and tested a new matrix preparation (2,6-dihydroxyacetophenone [DHA]/ammonium sulfate/heptafluorobutyric acid [HFBA]) to maximize the detection of all ganglioside species; the ammonium sulfate limits the formation of salt adducts, while the addition of HFBA increases the stability of DHA in a vacuum, thus facilitating imaging applications. Our results, in both extracted samples and whole tissue sections using negative ion reflectron and linear modes, show differences in localization in several brain regions depending on the sialic acids and the ceramide-associated core gangliosides.
- Mass spectrometry
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