Schizophrenia is one of the major psychiatric disorders, and lipids have focused on the important roles in this disorder. In fact, lipids related to various functions in the brain. Previous studies have indicated that phospholipids, particularly ones containing polyunsaturated fatty acyl residues, are deficient in postmortem brains from patients with schizophrenia. However, due to the difficulties in handling human postmortem brains, particularly the large size and complex structures of the human brain, there is little agreement regarding the qualitative and quantitative abnormalities of phospholipids in brains from patients with schizophrenia, particularly if corresponding brain regions are not used. In this study, to overcome these problems, we employed matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry (IMS), enabling direct microregion analysis of phospholipids in the postmortem brain of a patient with schizophrenia via brain sections prepared on glass slides. With integration of traditional histochemical examination, we could analyze regions of interest in the brain at the micrometric level. We found abnormal phospholipid distributions within internal brain structures, namely, the frontal cortex and occipital cortex. IMS revealed abnormal distributions of phosphatidylcholine molecular species particularly in the cortical layer of frontal cortex region. In addition, the combined use of liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry strengthened the capability for identification of numerous lipid molecular species. Our results are expected to further elucidate various metabolic processes in the neural system.
- Imaging mass spectrometry (IMS)
- Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)
- Postmortem brain
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry