Pinpointing a specific cell from within a relatively uniform cell population to determine its chemical content presents a challenging bioanalytical task. Immunocytochemistry is the classical method used to localize specific molecules and, hence, selected cells. Mass spectrometry also probes endogenous molecules such as neuropeptides within a cell. Here, these two approaches are hyphenated to allow microchemical analysis of immunocytochemical-selected peptidergic neurons. This two-step strategy utilizes antibody-based localization of cells containing selected biomarkers to isolate the cell(s) of interest, followed by peptidomic analysis via mass spectrometry. Applicable to a broad range of analyte and cell types, the strategy was used to successfully profile neuropeptides from individual immunostained insect neurons stored for up to 2 weeks as well as from tissues preserved for 42 weeks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1010-1019
Number of pages10
JournalChemistry and Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 24 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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