Fakultät Informatik und Mathematik
Regensburg Center for Artificial Intelligence
Regensburg Center of Biomedical Engineering
Regensburg Center of Health Sciences and Technology

Prof. Dr. rer nat. Christoph Palm

Andreas Matusch, Candan Depboylu, Christoph Palm, Bei Wu, Günter U. Höglinger, Martin K.-H. Schäfer, Johanna Sabine Becker

Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) has been established as a powerful technique for the determination of metal and nonmetal distributions within biological systems with high sensitivity. An imaging LA-ICP-MS technique for Fe, Cu, Zn, and Mn was developed to produce large series of quantitative element maps in native brain sections of mice subchronically intoxicated with 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridin (MPTP) as a model of Parkinson’s disease. Images were calibrated using matrix-matched laboratory standards. A software solution allowing a precise delineation of anatomical structures was implemented. Coronal brain sections were analyzed crossing the striatum and the substantia nigra, respectively. Animals sacrificed 2 h, 7 d, or 28 d after the last MPTP injection and controls were investigated.
We observed significant decreases of Cu concentrations in the periventricular zone and the fascia dentata at 2 h and 7d and a recovery or overcompensation at 28 d, most pronounced in the rostral periventricular zone (+40%). In the cortex Cu decreased slightly to −10%. Fe increased in the interpeduncular nucleus (+40%) but not in the substantia nigra. This pattern is in line with a differential regulation of periventricular and parenchymal Cu, and with the histochemical localization of Fe, and congruent to regions of preferential MPTP binding described in the rodent brain.
The LA-ICP-MS technique yielded valid and statistically robust results in the present study on 39 slices from 19 animals. Our findings underline the value of routine micro-local analytical techniques in the life sciences and affirm a role of Cu availability in Parkinson’s disease.

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