Elemental quantification and analysis of structural abnormalities in neurons from Parkinson’s-diseased brains by X-ray fluorescence microscopy and diffraction


Joppe K, Nicolas JD, Grünewald TA, Eckermann M, Salditt T, Lingor P


Biomedical Optics Express


Biomed. Opt. Express. 2020 11(4).


In this work we use scanning X-ray microscopy to study the structure and elemental composition of neuromelanin-positive neurons in substantia nigra tissue of Parkinson patients (PD) and controls. A total of 53 neurons were analyzed with X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and diffraction using sub-µm-focused synchrotron radiation. A statistical evaluation identified copper as the most group-discriminating element and indicated that interindividual and intraindividual variations are of great relevance in tissue measurements of diseased patients and prevent from automated group clustering. XRF analyses of two Lewy bodies (LBs) highlight a heterogeneity in elemental distributions in these LBs, whereas an innovative X-ray diffraction-based method approach was used to reveal β-sheet-rich crystalline structures in LBs. Overall, sub-µm-focus X-ray microscopy highlighted the elemental heterogeneity in PD pathology.



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