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Imaging Mass Spectrometry: A New Tool to Assess Molecular Underpinnings of Neurodegeneration

Department of Biosciences, Rice University, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Chemical Imaging Research Core at MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Center for Drug Discovery and Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Department of Neuroscience and Program in Developmental Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metabolites 2019, 9(7), 135;
Received: 10 May 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 26 June 2019 / Published: 10 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics in Neurodegenerative Disease)
Neurodegenerative diseases are prevalent and devastating. While extensive research has been done over the past decades, we are still far from comprehensively understanding what causes neurodegeneration and how we can prevent it or reverse it. Recently, systems biology approaches have led to a holistic examination of the interactions between genome, metabolome, and the environment, in order to shed new light on neurodegenerative pathogenesis. One of the new technologies that has emerged to facilitate such studies is imaging mass spectrometry (IMS). With its ability to map a wide range of small molecules with high spatial resolution, coupled with the ability to quantify them at once, without the need for a priori labeling, IMS has taken center stage in current research efforts in elucidating the role of the metabolome in driving neurodegeneration. IMS has already proven to be effective in investigating the lipidome and the proteome of various neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Here, we review the IMS platform for capturing biological snapshots of the metabolic state to shed more light on the molecular mechanisms of the diseased brain. View Full-Text
Keywords: neurodegeneration; metabolomics; biomarkers; imaging mass spectrometry neurodegeneration; metabolomics; biomarkers; imaging mass spectrometry
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Chen, K.; Baluya, D.; Tosun, M.; Li, F.; Maletic-Savatic, M. Imaging Mass Spectrometry: A New Tool to Assess Molecular Underpinnings of Neurodegeneration. Metabolites 2019, 9, 135.

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