Mass Spectrometry Measurements of Neuropeptides: From Identification to Quantitation

Eduardo A. De La Toba, Sara E. Bell, Elena V. Romanova, Jonathan V. Sweedler

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Neuropeptides (NPs), a unique class of neuronal signaling molecules, participate in a variety of physiological processes and diseases. Quantitative measurements of NPs provide valuable information regarding how these molecules are differentially regulated in a multitude of neurological, metabolic, and mental disorders. Mass spectrometry (MS) has evolved to become a powerful technique for measuring trace levels of NPs in complex biological tissues and individual cells using both targeted and exploratory approaches. There are inherent challenges to measuring NPs, including their wide endogenous concentration range, transport and postmortem degradation, complex sample matrices, and statistical processing of MS data required for accurate NP quantitation. This review highlights techniques developed to address these challenges and presents an overview of quantitative MS-based measurement approaches for NPs, including the incorporation of separation methods for high-throughput analysis, MS imaging for spatial measurements, and methods for NP quantitation in single neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-106
Number of pages24
JournalAnnual Review of Analytical Chemistry
StatePublished - 2022


  • Imaging
  • Ion mobility spectrometry
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Neuropeptide
  • Quantitation
  • Single cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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