Direct tissue imaging was performed on dissected insect tissue using a MALDI ion trap to visualize endogenous neuropeptides. Coupling tissue imaging to tandem MSnallows for the identification of previously known species and the ability to identify new ones by de novo sequencing, as searchable databases for insects are sparse. Direct tissue imaging is an attractive technique for the study of neuropeptides as minimal sample preparation is required prior to mass spectrometry. We successfully identified neuropeptides present in the corpora cardiaca and allata of Acheta domesticus (the house cricket). Diagnostic fragments at low m/z were used to distinguish between lipids and neuropeptides. The distribution of peptides appears to be more differentially localized than that of phospholipids, which seem to be more evenly distributed within the tissue. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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