Effect of L-alanine infusion on 31P nuclear magnetic resonance spectra of normal human liver: towards biochemical pathology in vivo

Clin Sci (Lond). 1992 Aug;83(2):183-90. doi: 10.1042/cs0830183.


1. 31P n.m.r. spectroscopy in vivo was used to study the effect of L-alanine infusion on the concentrations of gluconeogenic intermediates in normal human liver. Studies were performed in six healthy male subjects (34-44 years, fasted overnight) using a chemical shift imaging pulse sequence on a whole-body n.m.r. system operating at 1.6T. Hepatic 31P n.m.r. spectra were obtained from 10 min before to 70 min after intravenous administration of 0.70 (n = 2), 1.40 (n = 3) or 2.80 (n = 5) nmol of L-alanine/kg body weight over 4.5 min. Concentrations of phosphomonoesters, Pi and phosphodiesters relative to ATP were calculated from peak areas in the n.m.r. spectra, using the beta-ATP peak as a reference. 2. Dose-dependent spectral changes were observed for [phosphomonoesters]/[ATP] and [Pi]/[ATP]. At the highest dose given, maximal changes in [phosphomonoesters]/[ATP] (mean +/- SEM: 98 +/- 12%, P < 0.005) and [Pi]/[ATP] (-33 +/- 3%, P < 0.001) were observed approximately 45 min after the L-alanine infusion. [Phosphodiesters]/[ATP] showed a maximal increase of 24 +/- 6% (P < 0.05), which was independent of the L-alanine dose. Hepatic ATP levels and pH did not change. 3. To identify the metabolites responsible for the changes observed in vivo, male Wistar rats were infused with 11.2 mmol of L-alanine/kg body weight. After 15 min, livers were freeze-clamped and were extracted according to standard procedures. In vitro, 31P n.m.r. spectra obtained at 8.4 or 11.7 T revealed sharp increases in the concentrations of 3-phosphoglycerate and phosphoenolpyruvate after L-alanine infusion.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Alanine / blood
  • Alanine / metabolism
  • Alanine / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Glucose / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Phosphorus
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Time Factors


  • Phosphorus
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Glucose
  • Alanine