Multiple neurotransmitters mapped in a single experiment

Published: 2019-10-08


Researchers, led by Per Andrén (SciLifeLab/UU) have developed a new mass spectroscopy imaging (MSI) approach for creating comprehensive neurotransmitter network maps of specific brain regions.

The new approach makes it possible to visualize large number of signal substances simultaneously, something that hasn’t been possible before, and is applicable on both thin tissue and liquid samples like Cerebrospinal fluid. The new approach is also more sensitive enabling detection of important substances previously not detectable.

“This is the first time that the entire neurotransmitter system can be mapped in a single experiment. The newly developed methodology has the potential to map new disease mechanisms at the molecular level and opens up great possibilities for discovering new and better treatment methods and ensuring that patients are properly diagnosed, says Per Andrén”, professor at the Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences at Uppsala University, in a press release.

In the study, published in Nature Methods, researchers use the new methodology on experimental models of Parkinson’s disease as well as on real tissue samples from patients. The new methodology will facilitate the ability to study brain function, both in various disease states and in the treatment of brain diseases.