Spatiotemporal lipid profiling during early embryo development of Xenopus laevis using dynamic ToF-SIMS imaging

Hua Tian, John S. Fletcher, Raphael Thuret, Alex Henderson, Nancy Papalopulu, John C. Vickerman, Nicholas P. Lockyer

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) imaging has been used for the direct analysis of single intact Xenopus laevis embryo surfaces, locating multiple lipids during fertilization and the early embryo development stages with subcellular lateral resolution (∼4 μm). The method avoids the complicated sample preparation for lipid analysis of the embryos, which requires selective chemical extraction of a pool of samples and chromatographic separation, while preserving the spatial distribution of biological species. The results show ToF-SIMS is capable of profiling multiple components (e.g., glycerophosphocholine, SM, cholesterol, vitamin E, diacylglycerol, and triacylglycerol) in a single X. laevis embryo. We observe lipid remodeling during fertilization and early embryo development via time course sampling. The study also reveals the lipid distribution on the gamete fusion site. The methodology used in the study opens the possibility of studying developmental biology using high resolution imaging MS and of understanding the functional role of the biological molecules. Copyright © 2014 by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1970-1980
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Lipid Research
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Embryo
    • Mass spectrometry imaging
    • Oocyte
    • Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry

    Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

    • Manchester Institute of Biotechnology


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