Articles

Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 112-123

First online:

Detection of honeybee venom in envenomed tissues by direct MALDI MSI

  • Simona FranceseAffiliated withInterdepartmental Centre of Mass Spectrometry, University of Florence Email author 
  • , Duccio LambardiAffiliated withDepartment of Evolutionary Biology, University of Florence
  • , Guido MastrobuoniAffiliated withInterdepartmental Centre of Mass Spectrometry, University of Florence
  • , Giancarlo la MarcaAffiliated withDepartment of Pharmacology, University of Florence, Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, Metabolic and Neuromuscular Unit, Meyer Children’s Hospital
  • , Gloriano MonetiAffiliated withInterdepartmental Centre of Mass Spectrometry, University of Florence
  • , Stefano TurillazziAffiliated withDepartment of Evolutionary Biology, University of Florence

Abstract

A new analytical approach using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI MSI) for the study of honeybee venom is shown. In vitro and in vivo models simulating the bee sting have been developed using live honeybees and, as the envenomation sites, pig ears and rat legs; MALDI MSI has been used to map, over time, the diffusion and distribution of three venom allergens (Api m 1, Api m 4, and Api m 6) and two venom toxins (apamine and mast cell degranulating peptide). In conjunction with other classical biochemical techniques and high resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS), structural data have been obtained that contribute to current understanding of honeybee venom composition. Initial data have also been obtained demonstrating the feasibility of mapping the organism’s response to the sting. The opportunity to monitor venom diffusion and the organism’s response at the same time might open new pathways for in vivo preclinical studies in designing and testing new venom immunotherapy (VIT).