MALDI-based imaging mass spectrometry revealed abnormal distribution of phospholipids in colon cancer liver metastasis

Shuichi Shimma, Yuki Sugiura, Takahiro Hayasaka, Yutaka Hoshikawa, Tetsuo Noda, Mitsutoshi Setou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Citations (Scopus)


We present the results of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) imaging and direct molecular identification using tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) in colon cancer liver metastasis. Cancer tissue was removed from a Japanese patient and frozen immediately without any fixations. The sections were sliced to a thickness of 3 μm. The matrix for lipid ionization was 2,6-dihydroxy acetophenone. The matrix solution was applied with an airbrush into a thin uniform matrix layer on the tissue surface. After two-dimensional laser scanning, the images were reconstructed as a function of m/z from a few hundred obtained spectra. In the obtained images, the existence of molecules was represented by a pseudo-color corresponding to the signal intensity. In a feasibility study, we picked up a localized signal, m/z 725 in a cancerous area. The MS/MS result suggested that m/z 725 was sphingomyelin(16:0)+Na. Thus, we successfully show the feasibility of MALDI imaging as a tool for the analysis of pathological specimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-103
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
Issue number1 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Colon cancer
  • Imaging mass spectrometry
  • Molecular imaging
  • Phospholipids
  • Sphingomyelin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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