High-resolution magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) 1H NMR spectroscopy of intact human liver needle biopsies has not been previously reported. HR-MAS NMR spectra collected on 17 specimens with tissue amounts between approximately 0.5 and 12 mg showed very good spectral resolution and signal-to-noise ratios. One-dimensional 1H spectra revealed many intense signals corresponding to cellular metabolites. In addition, some high molecular weight metabolites, such as glycogen and mobile fatty acids, could be observed in some spectra. Resonance assignments for 22 metabolites were obtained by combining the analysis of three different types of 1D 1H spectral editing, such as T2 filtering or the nuclear Overhauser effect and 2D TOCSY and 13C-HSQC spectra. Biochemical stability of the liver tissue during up to 16 h of magic angle spinning at 277 K was studied. Biochemical trends corresponding to the different pathologies were observed, involving free fragments of lipids among other metabolites. NMR signal intensity ratios can be useful for discrimination among non-pathological, hepatitis C affected and cirrhotic liver tissues. Overall, this work demonstrates the applicability of HR-MAS NMR spectroscopy to the biochemical characterization of needle biopsies of the human liver.
2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.