In situ mass spectrometry of autoimmune liver diseases

Christopher Bowlus, Erin H. Seeley, Joanna Roder, Julia Grigorieva, Heinrich Roder, Richard M. Caprioli, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) are the major forms of autoimmune liver diseases each characterized by the destruction of a specific liver cell type and the presence of differing auto-antibodies. We took a proteomic approach utilizing in situ matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI MS) to obtain profiles directly from liver samples of patients with PBC, PSC, AIH and controls. The ability to precisely localize the region for acquisition of MALDI MS allowed us to obtain profiles from bile ducts, inflammatory infiltrates and hepatocytes from each biopsy sample. Analysis tools developed to identify peaks and compare peaks across diseases and cell types were used to develop models to classify the samples. Using an initial set of testing samples from PBC patients and controls, we identified unique peaks present in bile ducts, inflammatory infiltrates and hepatocytes that could classify samples in a validation cohort with 88-91% accuracy. Interestingly, profiles of PSC and AIH did not differ significantly from PBC. Identification of proteins in these peaks may represent novel autoantigens or effector molecules. These findings illustrate the potential of a proteomic approach to autoimmune diseases with in situ MALDI MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalCellular and Molecular Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011


  • autoimmune hepatitis
  • mass spectrometry
  • primary biliary cirrhosis
  • primary sclerosing cholangitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology


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