Background: In spite of the number of applications describing the use of MALDI MSI, one of its major drawbacks is the limited capability of identifying multiple compound classes directly on the same tissue section.
Methods: We demonstrate the use of grid-aided, parafilm-assisted microdissection to perform MALDI MS imaging and shotgun proteomics and metabolomics in a combined workflow and using only a single tissue section. The grid is generated by microspotting acid dye 25 using a piezoelectric microspotter, and this grid was used as a guide to locate regions of interest and as an aid during manual microdissection. Subjecting the dissected pieces to the modified Folch method allows to separate the metabolites from proteins. The proteins can then be subjected to digestion under controlled conditions to improve protein identification yields.
Results: The proof of concept experiment on rat brain generated 162 and 140 metabolite assignments from three ROIs (cerebellum, hippocampus and midbrain/hypothalamus) in positive and negative modes, respectively, and 890, 1303 and 1059 unique proteins. Integrated metabolite and protein overrepresentation analysis identified pathways associated with the biological functions of each ROI, most of which were not identified when looking at the protein and metabolite lists individually.
Conclusions: This combined MALDI MS imaging and multi-omics approach further extends the amount of information that can be generated from single tissue sections.
General significance: To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report combining both imaging and multi-omics analyses in the same workflow and on the same tissue section.
Keywords: Brain regions; MALDI MS imaging; Metabolomics; Multiomics; Parafilm-assisted microdissection; Proteomics.
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