Tarohda, T., Yamamoto, M. & Amamo, R. Anal Bioanal Chem (2004) 380: 240. doi:10.1007/s00216-004-2697-8
Manganese (Mn), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) concentrations were determined in the brain regions of normal 1-, 3-, 5-, 7-, 14-, 21-, 42-, 77-, and 147-day-old Wistar rats using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), and their maps were illustrated in color to visually compare the distribution of the elements at various stages of the growth process. Sagittal slices (1-mm thickness) sectioned at the level of the substantia nigra were divided into 18 regions, and the small slice samples were digested in microwave-assisted closed vessels for ICP-MS measurement. Mn, Fe, Cu, and Zn concentrations increased region-specifically with age, and their distributional maps showed some characteristics. These findings are discussed in terms of needs for these trace elements in the normal brain. Among new findings about their brain distribution, it is especially noteworthy that higher concentrations of Mn, Fe, and Zn were observed in the substantia nigra compared with those in neighboring regions. The mapping method in this work is expected to open up possibilities for screening of the in vivo element–element interrelationships among these essential elements.