Monoamine neurotransmitters are released by specialized neurons that regulate behavioral and cognitive functions. Although localization of monoaminergic neurons in the brain is well known, the distribution, concentration, and kinetics of monoamines remain unclear. We used mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) for simultaneous and quantitative imaging of endogenous monoamines to generate a murine brain atlas of serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA), and norepinephrine (NE) levels. We observed several nuclei rich in both 5-HT and a catecholamine (DA or NE). Additionally, we analyzed de novo monoamine synthesis or fluctuations in those nuclei. We propose that MSI is a useful tool to gain deeper understanding of associations among the localization, levels, and turnover of monoamines in different brain areas and their role in inducing behavioral changes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas