Mass spectrometry imaging of biomarker lipids for phagocytosis and signalling during focal cerebral ischaemia

Mette M.B. Nielsen, Kate Lykke Lambertsen, Bettina Hjelm Clausen, Morten Meyer, Dhaka R. Bhandari, Søren T. Larsen, Steen S. Poulsen, Bernhard Spengler, Christian Janfelt, Harald S. Hansen

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Focal cerebral ischaemia has an initial phase of inflammation and tissue injury followed by a later phase of resolution and repair. Mass spectrometry imaging (desorption electrospray ionization and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization) was applied on brain sections from mice 2 h, 24 h, 5d, 7d, and 20d after permanent focal cerebral ischaemia. Within 24 h, N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamines, lysophosphatidylcholine, and ceramide accumulated, while sphingomyelin disappeared. At the later resolution stages, bis(monoacylglycero)phosphate (BMP(22:6/22:6)), 2-arachidonoyl-glycerol, ceramide-phosphate, sphingosine-1-phosphate, lysophosphatidylserine, and cholesteryl ester appeared. At day 5 to 7, dihydroxy derivates of docosahexaenoic and docosapentaenoic acid, some of which may be pro-resolving mediators, e.g. resolvins, were found in the injured area, and BMP(22:6/22:6) co-localized with the macrophage biomarker CD11b, and probably with cholesteryl ester. Mass spectrometry imaging can visualize spatiotemporal changes in the lipidome during the progression and resolution of focal cerebral inflammation and suggests that BMP(22:6/22:6) and N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamines can be used as biomarkers for phagocytizing macrophages/microglia cells and dead neurones, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39571
JournalScientific Reports
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 22. Dec 2016


  • Animals
  • Arachidonic Acid/chemistry
  • Biomarkers/chemistry
  • Brain Ischemia/diagnostic imaging
  • CD11b Antigen/metabolism
  • Docosahexaenoic Acids/chemistry
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery/metabolism
  • Inflammation
  • Lipids/chemistry
  • Macrophages/metabolism
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microglia/metabolism
  • Neurons/metabolism
  • Phagocytosis
  • Phospholipases/chemistry
  • Signal Transduction
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption-Ionization

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