Toward an in vivo neurochemical profile: quantification of 18 metabolites in short-echo-time (1)H NMR spectra of the rat brain

J Magn Reson. 1999 Nov;141(1):104-20. doi: 10.1006/jmre.1999.1895.


Localized in vivo (1)H NMR spectroscopy was performed with 2-ms echo time in the rat brain at 9.4 T. Frequency domain analysis with LCModel showed that the in vivo spectra can be explained by 18 metabolite model solution spectra and a highly structured background, which was attributed to resonances with fivefold shorter in vivo T(1) than metabolites. The high spectral resolution (full width at half maximum approximately 0.025 ppm) and sensitivity (signal-to-noise ratio approximately 45 from a 63-microL volume, 512 scans) was used for the simultaneous measurement of the concentrations of metabolites previously difficult to quantify in (1)H spectra. The strongly represented signals of N-acetylaspartate, glutamate, taurine, myo-inositol, creatine, phosphocreatine, glutamine, and lactate were quantified with Cramér-Rao lower bounds below 4%. Choline groups, phosphorylethanolamine, glucose, glutathione, gamma-aminobutyric acid, N-acetylaspartylglutamate, and alanine were below 13%, whereas aspartate and scyllo-inositol were below 22%. Intra-assay variation was assessed from a time series of 3-min spectra, and the coefficient of variation was similar to the calculated Cramér-Rao lower bounds. Interassay variation was determined from 31 pooled spectra, and the coefficient of variation for total creatine was 7%. Tissue concentrations were found to be in very good agreement with neurochemical data from the literature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / analysis
  • Animals
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology*
  • Hepatic Encephalopathy / metabolism
  • Hyperglycemia / metabolism
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Amino Acids