Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New route to map brain fat

Date:
May 5, 2011
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Mapping the fat distribution of the healthy human brain is a key step in understanding neurological diseases, in general, and the neurodegeneration that accompanies Alzheimer's disease in particular. Researchers in Spain have found a new technique to reveal the fat distribution of three different areas of the healthy human brain.

Mapping the fat distribution of the healthy human brain is a key step in understanding neurological diseases, in general, and the neurodegeneration that accompanies Alzheimer's disease in particular. Antonio Veloso and colleagues, from the University of the Basque Country in Leioa, Spain, find a new technique to reveal the fat distribution of three different areas of the healthy human brain.

Their work is published online in Springer's journal, Analytical & Bioanalytical Chemistry.

The human central nervous system has an abundance of lipid molecules -- some are structural and energetic components of cells; others play a role in neurotransmission and are known as neurolipids. Mapping these neurolipids can increase neurologists' knowledge of the precise metabolic routes that produce them and where this production takes place. Knowing the fat composition of the healthy brain and the distribution of the different lipid species can give them clues about how neurodegenerative diseases develop.

The multi-disciplinary team used a combination of MALDI-TOF imaging mass spectrometry (a technique used to visualize the spatial distribution of compounds by their molecular mass) and functional autoradiography (an image recorded on a photographic film that shows the distribution of the activity induced by a drug) to scan healthy brain tissue slices. They mapped out, in detail, the lipid distribution of 43 types of lipids in three distinct areas of the human brain: the frontal cortex, hippocampus and striatum. (The frontal cortex, or frontal lobe, is the front part of the brain; the hippocampus is a part of the brain located above the temples, which plays a role in memory and emotion; the striatum is the striated mass of white and grey matter in the forebrain.) What is unique about their method, is its ability to identify the lipid species as well as locate them. Indeed, localization of lipid species is lost with the use of traditional techniques.

The authors conclude: "The application of imaging mass spectrometry to the localization of lipid species in the brain will be especially helpful to elucidate the specific functions of each type of lipid. Moreover, during the last few years the modulation of the signaling by neurolipids has been found to be implicated in neurodegenerative diseases. In this context, Alzheimer's disease is especially interesting since the familial mutation of some proteins that transport lipids, as the Apolipoprotein E, is a risk factor in this disease. The imaging mass spectrometry technique is still in an early stage. It is expected that in the near future, new hardware developments will allow a precise determination of an increasing number of lipid species, aiming at producing a three-dimensional map of the lipid distribution in the brain."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Antonio Veloso, Roberto Fernández, Egoitz Astigarraga, Gabriel Barreda-Gómez, Iván Manuel, M. Teresa Giralt, Isidro Ferrer, Begońa Ochoa, Rafael Rodríguez-Puertas, José A. Fernández. Distribution of lipids in human brain. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 2011; DOI: 10.1007/s00216-011-4882-x

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "New route to map brain fat." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110504095457.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2011, May 5). New route to map brain fat. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110504095457.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "New route to map brain fat." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110504095457.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) — According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins