In developmental and cell biology it is crucial to evaluate the dynamic profiles of metabolites. An emerging frog model system using Xenopus tropicalis, whose genome sequence and inbred strains are available, is now ready for metabolomics investigation in amphibians. In this study we applied matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI)−mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) analyses to identify and visualize metabolomic molecular markers in tadpoles of Xenopus tropicalis.
We detected tissue-specific peaks and visualized their distribution in tissues. We distinguished 19 tissues and their specific peaks. We identified, for the first time, some of their molecular localizations via tandem mass spectrometric analysis: hydrocortisone in artery, L-DOPA in rhombencephalon, taurine in eye, corticosterone in gill, heme in heart, inosine monophosphate and carnosine in muscle, dopamine in nerves, and phosphatidylethanolamine (16:0/20:4) in pharynx.
This is the first MALDI−MSI study of X. tropicalis tadpoles. In small tadpoles it is hard to distinguish and dissect the various organs. Furthermore, until now we have no data about the metabolomic profile of each organ. Our results suggest that MALDI−MSI is potentially a powerful tool for examining the dynamics of metabolomics in metamorphosis as well as conformational changes due to metabolic changes.
- Received May 18, 2016.
- Accepted July 11, 2016.
- © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd
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