(1)H-NMR spectroscopy at 500 MHz was used to confirm that a previously unidentified singlet resonance at 3.14 ppm in the spectra of cerebrospinal fluid and plasma samples corresponds to dimethyl sulfone (DMSO(2)). A triple resonance inverse cryogenic NMR probe, with pre-amplifier and the RF-coils cooled to low temperature, was used to obtain an (1)H-(13)C HSQC spectrum of CSF containing 8 microM (753 ng/ml) DMSO(2). The (1)H-(13)C correlation signal for DMSO(2) was assigned by comparison with the spectrum from an authentic reference sample. In plasma and CSF from healthy controls, the concentration of DMSO(2) ranged between 0 and 25 micromol/l. The concentration of DMSO(2) in plasma from three of four patients with severe methionine adenosyltransferase I/III (MAT I/III) deficiency was about twice the maximum observed for controls. Thus, DMSO(2) occurs as a regular metabolite at low micromolar concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma. It derives from dietary sources, from intestinal bacterial metabolism and from human endogenous methanethiol metabolism.
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