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Hydrophilic quaternary ammonium compounds (QACs) include derivatives of carnitine (Car) or choline, which are known to have essential bioactivities. Here we developed a technique for improving the detection of hydrophilic QACs using ammonium sulfate (AS) in matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS). In MALDI mass spectrometry for brain homogenates, the addition of AS greatly increased the signal intensities of Car, acetylcarnitine (AcCar), and glycerophosphocholine (GPC) by approx. 300-, 700- and 2500-fold. The marked improvement required a higher AS concentration than that needed for suppressing the potassium adduction on phosphatidylcholine and 2,5-dihydroxybenzoic acid. Adding AS also increased the signal intensities of Car, AcCar, and GPC by approx. 10-, 20-, and 40-fold in MALDI-IMS. Consequently, the distributions of five hydrophilic QACs (Car, AcCar, GPC, choline, and phosphocholine) were simultaneously visualized by this technique. The distinct mechanism from other techniques such as improved matrix application, derivatization, or post-ionization suggests the great potential of AS addition to achieve higher sensitivity of MALDI-IMS for various analytes.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Analytical chemistry
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QUATERNARY AMMONIUM COMPOUNDS containing three methyl groups, having the general formula of (CH3)3N+R.
Quaternary ammonium compounds that consist of an ammonium cation where the central nitrogen atom is bonded to four ethyl groups.
Derivatives of ammonium compounds, NH4+ Y-, in which all four of the hydrogens bonded to nitrogen have been replaced with hydrocarbyl groups. These are distinguished from IMINES which are RN=CR2.
Inorganic compounds that include a positively charged tetrahedral nitrogen (ammonium ion) as part of their structure. This class of compounds includes a broad variety of simple ammonium salts and derivatives.
QUATERNARY AMMONIUM COMPOUNDS based on PHENYLAMINES with the general formula phenyl-N+R3.