Gadolinium is a paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) agent that accelerates the relaxation of metabolite nuclei. In this study, we noted the ability of gadolinium to improve the sensitivity of two-dimensional, non-uniform sampled NMR spectral data collected from metabolomics samples. In time-equivalent experiments, the addition of gadolinium increased the mean signal intensity measurement and the signal-to-noise ratio for metabolite resonances in both standard and plasma samples. Gadolinium led to highly linear intensity measurements that correlated with metabolite concentrations. In the presence of gadolinium, we were able to detect a broad array of metabolites with a lower limit of detection and quantification in the low micromolar range. We also observed an increase in the repeatability of intensity measurements upon the addition of gadolinium. The results of this study suggest that the addition of a gadolinium-based PRE agent to metabolite samples can improve NMR-based metabolomics.
Keywords: NMR; gadolinium; metabolomics; paramagnetic; relaxation.