January 19, 2021
Journal Article

Storage conditions of human kidney tissue sections affect spatial lipidomics analysis reproducibility

Guanshi Zhang
Ljiljana Pasa-Tolic
Theodore Alexandrov
Kumar Sharma
Annapurna Pamreddy


Lipids often are liable, unstable, and tend to degrade overtime, so it is of upmost importance to study these molecules in their most native state. We sought to understand the optimal storage conditions for spatial lipidomic analysis of human kidney tissue sections. Specifically, we evaluated human kidney tissue sections on several different days throughout the span of a week using our established protocol for elucidating lipids using high mass resolution matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI). We studied kidney tissue sections stored under five different conditions: open stored at -80 °C, vacuumed sealed and stored at -80 °C, with matrix pre-applied before storage at -80 °C, under a nitrogen atmosphere and stored at -80 °C, and at room temperature in a desiccator. Results were compared to data obtained from kidney tissue sections that were prepared and analyzed immediately after cryosectioning. Data was processed using METASPACE. After a week of storage, the sections stored at room temperature showed the largest amount of lipid degradation, while sections stored under nitrogen and at -80 °C retained the greatest number of overlapping annotations in relation to freshly cut tissue. Overall, we found that molecular degradation of the tissue sections was unavoidable over time, regardless of storage conditions, but storing tissue sections in an inert gas at low temperatures can curtail molecular degradation within tissue sections.

Revised: January 19, 2021 | Published: December 2, 2020


Lukowski J.K., A. Pamreddy, D. Velickovic, G. Zhang, L. Pasa-Tolic, T. Alexandrov, and K. Sharma, et al. 2020. "Storage conditions of human kidney tissue sections affect spatial lipidomics analysis reproducibility." Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 31, no. 12:2538–2546. PNNL-SA-154857. doi:10.1021/jasms.0c00256