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.