Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge

Mass Spectrometry Unit


Mass Spectrometry Unit

Head: Mirko Peitzsch, PhD 
Staff: Denise Kaden (Technical assistant)

The Division of Neurochemistry hosts a DFG-funded mass spectrometry facility with a tandem mass spectrometer (QTRAP 5500, AB Sciex), equipped with both HPLC and UPLC instruments. Dr. Mirko Peitzsch, who supervises the Division’s targeted analyses of low molecular weight analytes, has developed several different assay methods for precise and sensitive measurements of different groups of analytes. LC-MS/MS assays for catecholamines, including adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine, as well as their respective O-methylated metabolites, metanephrine, normetanephrine and 3-methoxytyramine, provide for state-of-the-art biochemical screening of patients suspected to harbor catecholamine-producing tumors. In addition to diagnosis of chromaffin cell tumors and use for monitoring disease progression in clinical trials and animal model systems, Dr. Peitzsch heads a research project directed at establishing utility of these methods for diagnosis of neuroblastoma. 

LC-MS/MS based steroidomic profiling is also being applied to improve diagnosis and disease stratification of patients with primary aldosteronism. This method also assists with assessments of other disorders featuring deranged adrenal cortical function, such as hypercortisolism and adrenal insufficiency. The method is additionally being employed in preclinical studies to assess utility of novel drugs targeting steroidogenic pathways as well as in model systems seeking to establish new methods for steroid replacement.


A further interest of Dr. Peitzsch centers around measurements of energy pathway metabolites as a guide to diagnosis and stratification of patients with tumors featuring mutations of genes involved in metabolic processes. For this mass spectrometric assays of Krebs cycle and other metabolites have been developed for both clinical studies and investigations involving model systems. Plans involve combining these analyses with SIMFA technology for mapping and quantifying rate processes of energy pathways. 

Additional plans include acquisition of a hybrid triple quadrupole time of flight instrument to enable untargeted metabolomics profiling, which combined with SIMFA will enable more comprehensive mapping of metabolite pathways than allowed for using the current triple quad instrument.

Selected Publications

  1. Peitzsch M, Dekkers T, Haase M, Sweep FC, Quack I, Antoch G, Siegert G, Lenders JW, Deinum J, Willenberg HS, Eisenhofer G. An LC-MS/MS method for steroid profiling during adrenal venous sampling for investigation of primary aldosteronism. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2015, 145:75-84. 
  2. Weismann D, Peitzsch M, Raida A, Prejbisz A, Gosk M, Riester A, Willenberg HS, Klemm R, Manz G, Deutschbein T, Kroiss M, Därr R, Bidlingmaier M, Januszewicz A, Eisenhofer G, Fassnacht M. Measurements of plasma metanephrines by immunoassay versus LC-MS/MS for diagnosis of pheochromocytoma. Eur J Endocrinol. 2015, “in press”.
  3. Eisenhofer G, Peitzsch M. Laboratory evaluation of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma. Clin Chem. 2014, 60:1486-99.
  4. Adaway JE, Peitzsch M, Keevil BG. A novel method for the measurement of plasma metanephrines using online solid phase extraction-liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. Ann Clin Biochem. 2015, “in press”.
  5. Juratli TA, Peitzsch M, Geiger K, Schackert G, Eisenhofer G, Krex D. Accumulation of 2-hydroxyglutarate is not a biomarker for malignant progression in IDH-mutated low-grade gliomas. Neuro Oncol. 2013, 15:682-90. 
  6. Peitzsch M, Pelzel D, Glöckner S, Prejbisz A, Fassnacht M, Beuschlein F, Januszewicz A, Siegert G, Eisenhofer G. Simultaneous liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometric determination of urinary free metanephrines and catecholamines, with comparisons of free and deconjugated metabolites. Clin Chim  Acta. 2013,15: 418:50-8. 
  7. Peitzsch M, Prejbisz A, Kroiß M, Beuschlein F, Arlt W, Januszewicz A, Siegert G, Eisenhofer G. Analysis of plasma 3-methoxytyramine, normetanephrine and metanephrine by ultraperformance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry: utility for diagnosis of dopamine-producing metastatic phaeochromocytoma. Ann Clin Biochem. 2013, 50:147-55.