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Analysis of Brain Lipids by Directly Coupled Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry and High-Performance Thin-Layer Chromatography

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Abstract:

Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) is a soft ionization MS technique providing only minor fragmentation of the analyte. Therefore, the method is basically suitable for mixture analysis, although the ion yields strongly depend on the basicity/acidity of the analyte in relation to the applied matrix. Accordingly, less sensitively detectable compounds may be suppressed by more sensitively detectable compounds. Thus, separation of the mixture into the individual compounds is normally indispensable. This paper demonstrates the capabilities and limitations of a direct, simple, and inexpensive MALDI-high-performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) coupling for the analysis of a crude lipid extract from porcine brain. Brain lipids were chosen because they represent a rather complex mixture and are of currently significant research interest. It was found that normal-phase HPTLC-separated lipids can be easily characterized by direct MALDI-TOF-MS analysis with sufficient resolution to allow the assignment of virtually all lipid classes, even rather minor species such as phosphorylated phosphoinositides or complex glycolipids as gangliosides. Advantages and disadvantages of this approach are discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Leipzig, Institute of Medical Physics and Biophysics, Faculty of Medicine, Hrtelstr., 16-18, D-04107 Leipzig, Germany.

Publication date: 2008-09-01

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL publishes refereed papers and reviews in the fields of chemical, biological and toxicological analytical chemistry for the purpose of showcasing the most precise, accurate and sensitive methods for analysis of foods, food additives, supplements and contaminants, cosmetics, drugs, toxins, hazardous substances, pesticides, feeds, fertilizers and the environment available at that point in time. The scope of the Journal includes unpublished original research describing new analytical methods, techniques and applications; improved approaches to sampling, both in the field and the laboratory; better methods of preparing samples for analysis; collaborative studies substantiating the performance of a given method; statistical techniques for evaluating data. The Journal will also publish other articles of general interest to its audience, e.g., technical communications; cautionary notes; comments on techniques, apparatus, and reagents.
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