Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 400, Issue 7, pp 1913–1921 | Cite as

Visualization of phosphatidylcholine, lysophosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin in mouse tongue body by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry

  • Hirofumi Enomoto
  • Yuki Sugiura
  • Mitsutoshi Setou
  • Nobuhiro Zaima
Original Paper


The mammalian tongue is one of the most important organs during food uptake because it is helpful for mastication and swallowing. In addition, taste receptors are present on the surface of the tongue. Lipids are the second most abundant biomolecules after water in the tongue. Lipids such as phosphatidylcholine (PC), lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) and sphingomyelin (SM) are considered to play fundamental roles in the mediation of cell signaling. Imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) is powerful tool for determining and visualizing the distribution of lipids across sections of dissected tissue. In this study, we identified and visualized the PC, LPC, and SM species in a mouse tongue body section with matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)-IMS. The ion image constructed from the peaks revealed that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)-containing PC, LPC, linoleic acid-containing PC and SM (d18:1/16:0), and oleic acid-containing PC were mainly distributed in muscle, connective tissue, stratified epithelium, and the peripheral nerve, respectively. Furthermore, the distribution of SM (d18:1/16:0) corresponded to the distribution of nerve tissue relating to taste in the stratified epithelium. This study represents the first visualization of PC, LPC and SM localization in the mouse tongue body.


Imaging mass spectrometry Mouse tongue body Phosphatidylcholine Lysophosphatidylcholine Sphingomyelin Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization 



This work was supported by the Program for Promotion of Basic and Applied Researchers for Innovations in Bio-oriented Industry (BRAIN) to N. Z.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hirofumi Enomoto
    • 1
  • Yuki Sugiura
    • 1
  • Mitsutoshi Setou
    • 1
  • Nobuhiro Zaima
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular AnatomyHamamatsu University School of MedicineHamamatsuJapan

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