Current treatments for ocular and optic nerve trauma are largely ineffective and may have adverse side effects; therefore,
new approaches are needed to understand trauma mechanisms. Identification of trauma-related biomarkers may yield
insights into the molecular aspects of tissue trauma that can contribute to the development of better diagnostics and
treatments. The conventional approach for protein biomarker measurement largely relies on immunoaffinity methods
that typically can only be applied to analytes for which antibodies or other targeting means are available. Matrix assisted
laser-assisted desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS) is a specialized application of mass
spectrometry that not only is well suited to the discovery of novel or unanticipated biomarkers, but also provides
information about the spatial localization of biomarkers in tissue. We have been using MALDI-IMS to find traumarelated
protein biomarkers in retina and optic nerve tissue from animal models subjected to ocular injury produced by
either blast overpressure or mechanical torsion. Work to date by our group, using MALDI-IMS, found that the pattern
of protein expression is modified in the injured ocular tissue as soon as 24 hr post-injury, compared to controls. Specific
proteins may be up- or down-regulated by trauma, suggesting different tissue responses to a given injury. Ongoing work
is directed at identifying the proteins affected and mapping their expression in the ocular tissue, anticipating that
systematic analysis can be used to identify targets for prospective therapies for ocular trauma.
Kirstin Jones, Matthew A. Reilly, and Randolph D. Glickman, "Identification and localization of trauma-related biomarkers using matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry," Proc. SPIE 10046, Visualizing and Quantifying Drug Distribution in Tissue, 100460G (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2017; Published: 9 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2256647.
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