In vivo (31) P MRS assessment of intracellular NAD metabolites and NAD(+) /NADH redox state in human brain at 4 T

NMR Biomed. 2016 Jul;29(7):1010-7. doi: 10.1002/nbm.3559. Epub 2016 Jun 3.


NAD(+) and NADH play key roles in cellular respiration. Intracellular redox state defined by the NAD(+) /NADH ratio (RX) reflects the cellular metabolic and physiopathological status. By taking advantage of high/ultrahigh magnetic field strengths, we have recently established a novel in vivo (31) P MRS-based NAD assay for noninvasive and quantitative measurements of intracellular NAD concentrations and redox state in animal and human brains at 16.4 T, 9.4 T and 7 T. To explore its potential for clinical application, in this study we investigated the feasibility of assessing the NAD metabolism and redox state in human brain at a lower field of 4 T by incorporating the (1) H-decoupling technique with the in vivo (31) P NAD assay. The use of (1) H decoupling significantly narrowed the linewidths of NAD and α-ATP resonances, resulting in higher sensitivity and better spectral resolution as compared with the (1) H-coupled (31) P spectrum. These improvements made it possible to reliably quantify cerebral NAD concentrations and RX, consistent with previously reported results obtained from similar age human subjects at 7 T. In summary, this work demonstrates the capability and utility of the (1) H-decoupled (31) P MRS-based NAD assay at lower field strength; thus, it opens new opportunities for studying intracellular NAD metabolism and redox state in human brain at clinical settings. This conclusion is supported by the simulation results, indicating that similar performance and reliability as observed at 4T can be achieved at 3 T with the same signal-to-noise ratio. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: 1H decoupling; NAD+ and NADH; human brain; in vivo 31P MRS; intracellular redox state.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Machine Learning
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods*
  • Male
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods*
  • NAD / metabolism*
  • Numerical Analysis, Computer-Assisted
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phosphorus Isotopes / pharmacokinetics*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*


  • Phosphorus Isotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • NAD