Interactive hyperspectral approach for exploring and interpreting DESI-MS images of cancerous and normal tissue sections.

Valentina Pirro
Valentina Pirro
University of Torino
Livia S Eberlin
Livia S Eberlin
Purdue University
United States
Paolo Oliveri
Paolo Oliveri
University of Genoa

Analyst 2012 May 11;137(10):2374-80. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

Department of Chemistry, University of Turin, Turin 10125, Italy.

Desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) is an ambient mass spectrometry (MS) technique that can be operated in an imaging mode. It is known to provide valuable information on disease state and grade based on lipid profiles in tissue sections. Comprehensive exploration of the spatial and chemical information contained in 2D MS images requires further development of methods for data treatment and interpretation in conjunction with multivariate analysis. In this study, we employ an interactive approach based on principal component analysis (PCA) to interpret the chemical and spatial information obtained from MS imaging of human bladder, kidney, germ cell and prostate cancer and adjacent normal tissues. This multivariate strategy facilitated distinction between tumor and normal tissue by correlating the lipid information with pathological evaluation of the same samples. Some common lipid ions, such as those of m/z 885.5 and m/z 788.5, nominally PI(18 : 0/20 : 4) and PS(18 : 0/18 : 1), as well as ions of free fatty acids and their dimers, appeared to be highly characterizing for different types of human cancers, while other ions, such as those of m/z 465.5 (cholesterol sulfate) for prostate cancer tissue and m/z 795.5 (seminolipid 16 : 0/16 : 0) for germ tissue, appeared to be extremely selective for the type of tissue analyzed. These data confirm that lipid profiles can reflect not only the disease/health state of tissue but also are characteristic of tissue type. The manual interactive strategy presented here is particularly useful to visualize the information contained in hyperspectral MS images by automatically connecting regions of PCA score space to pixels of the 2D physical object. The procedures developed in this study consider all the spectral variables and their inter-correlations, and guide subsequent investigations of the mass spectra and single ion images to allow one to maximize characterization between different regions of any DESI-MS image.
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