Band inversion amplifies 31 P-31 P nuclear overhauser effects: Relaxation mechanism and dynamic behavior of ATP in the human brain by 31 P MRS at 7 T

Magn Reson Med. 2017 Apr;77(4):1409-1418. doi: 10.1002/mrm.26236. Epub 2016 Apr 8.


Purpose: To develop an improved method to measure the 31 P nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) for evaluation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) dynamics in terms of correlation time (τc ), and contribution of dipole-dipole (DD) and chemical shift anisotropy (CSA) mechanisms to T1 relaxation of ATP in human brain.

Methods: The NOE of ATP in human brain was evaluated by monitoring changes in magnetization in the β-ATP signal following a band inversion of all downfield 31 P resonances. The magnetization changes observed were analyzed using the Bloch-McConnell-Solomon formulation to evaluate the relaxation and motion dynamic parameters that describe interactions of ATP with cellular solids in human brain tissue.

Results: The maximal transient NOE, observed as a reduction in the β-ATP signal, was 24 ± 2% upon band inversion of γ- and α-ATP, which is 2-3-fold higher than achievable by frequency-selective inversion of either γ- or α-ATP. The rate of 31 P-31 P cross relaxation (0.21 ± 0.02 s-1 ) led to a τc value of (9.1 ± 0.8) × 10-8 s for ATP in human brain. The T1 relaxation of β-ATP is dominated by CSA over the DD mechanism (60%: 40%).

Conclusions: The band inversion method proved effective in amplifying 31 P NOE, and thus facilitating ATP τc and relaxation measurements. This technique renders ATP a potentially useful reporter molecule for cellular environments. Magn Reson Med 77:1409-1418, 2017. © 2016 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine.

Keywords: ATP; NOE; T1 relaxation; cross relaxation; dynamics; inversion transfer; magnetization transfer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism*
  • Adult
  • Algorithms*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Male
  • Metabolic Clearance Rate
  • Phosphorus Isotopes / pharmacokinetics*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*


  • Phosphorus Isotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Adenosine Triphosphate