Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) has evolved to become an effective discovery tool in science and clinical diagnostics. Here, chemical imaging approaches are applied to well-defined regions of the mammalian peripheral sensory-motor system, including the dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and adjacent nerves. By combining several MSI approaches, analyte coverage is increased and 195 distinct molecular features are observed. Principal component analysis suggests three chemically different regions within the sensory-motor system, with the DRG and adjacent nerve regions being the most distinct. Investigation of these regions using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry corroborate these findings and reveal important metabolic markers related to the observed differences. The heterogeneity of the structurally, physiologically, and functionally connected regions demonstrates the intricate chemical and spatial regulation of their chemical composition. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)958-966
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Dorsal root ganglia
  • Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry
  • Mass spectrometry imaging
  • Peripheral sensory-motor system
  • Spinal nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Spectroscopy


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