Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI)-profiling and imaging mass spectrometry are promising technologies for measuring hundreds of different molecules directly on tissues. For instance, small molecules, drugs and their metabolites, endogenous lipids, carbohydrates and complex peptides/proteins can be measured at the same time without significant disruption of sample integrity. In this review, the potential of MALDI-profiling/imaging technologies in disease proteomics, drug action and studies of cellular processes in the context of kidney tissue is described. Spatial and sequence information obtained in tissue MALDI-profiling/imaging studies can be correlated with other mass spectrometry-based techniques, auxiliary imaging technologies and routine (immuno) histochemical staining.
Keywords: kidney; mass spectrometry imaging; tissue profiling.