ANALYSIS OF BIOGENIC AMINE NEUROTRANSMITTERS WITH CAPILLARY ELECTROPHORESIS

Open Access
Author:
Smith, Justin R
Graduate Program:
Chemistry
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
None
Committee Members:
  • Andrew Ewing, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • biogenic amines
  • Capillary electrophoresis
Abstract:
The complex nature of brain function makes dissecting the roles of neurotransmitters in physiological processes such as learning and memory difficult. The use of a model system such as Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly, however, simplifies the analysis of these roles with its less complex nervous system and the ease with which it can be genetically manipulated to form mutants. This thesis describes the examination of the biogenic amine neurotransmitters found within Drosophila head homogenates with capillary electrophoresis (CE) coupled to both mass spectrometric (MS) and electrochemical (EC) detection. Following an introduction to the fruit fly and the analytical techniques utilized to study the samples, the development of a CE system with MS detection is described in chapter 2. Once developed, the system was used to investigate the efficacy of different sample preparation protocols for extracting biogenic amines and other compounds of interest from the fly samples. Extraction protocols were further studied in chapter 3 with CE coupled to EC detection. Additionally, the interference of eye pigment and compounds from the cuticle of the fly was examined by comparing wild type flies with both white mutant flies that lack eye pigment and a dissected wild type brain. Lastly, the use of MS/MS detection is discussed to identify other possible compounds of interest found within the fly head.