Zinc isotope ratio imaging of rat brain thin sections from stable isotope tracer studies by LA-MC-ICP-MS

Dagmar S. Urgast, Sarah Hill, In-Sook Kwun, John H. Beattie, Heidi Goenaga-Infante, Joerg Feldmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Zinc stable isotope tracers (Zn-67 and Zn-70) were injected into rats at two different time points to investigate the feasibility of using tracers to study zinc kinetics at the microscale within distinct tissue features. Laser ablation coupled to multi-collector ICP-MS was used to analyse average isotope ratios in liver thin sections and to generate bio-images showing zinc isotope ratio distribution in brain thin sections. Average isotope ratios of all samples from treated animals were found to be statistically different (P < 0.05) from samples from untreated control animals. Furthermore, differing isotope ratios in physiological features of the brain, namely hippocampus, amygdala, cortex and hypothalamus, were identified. This indicates that these regions differ in their zinc metabolism kinetics. While cortex and hypothalamus contain more tracer two days after injection than 14 days after injection, the opposite is true for hippocampus and amygdala. This study showed that stable isotope tracer experiments can be combined with laser ablation MC-ICP-MS to measure trace element kinetics in tissues at a microscale level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1063
Number of pages7
Issue number10
Early online date2 Aug 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012


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