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1H-MRS in spinal cord injury: acute and chronic metabolite alterations in rat brain and lumbar spinal cord

Matthias Erschbamer, Johanna Oberg, Eric Westman, Rouslan Sitnikov, Lars Olson & Christian Spenger

abstract A variety of tests of sensorimotor function are used to characterize outcome after experimental spinal cord injury (SCI). These tests typically do not provide information about chemical and metabolic processes in the injured CNS. Here, we used (1) H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) to monitor long-term and short-term chemical changes in the CNS in vivo following SCI. The investigated areas were cortex, thalamus/striatum and the spinal cord distal to injury. In cortex, glutamate (Glu) decreased 1 day after SCI and slowly returned towards normal levels. The combined glutamine (Gln) and Glu signal was similarly decreased in cortex, but increased in the distal spinal cord, suggesting opposite changes of the Glu/Gln metabolites in cortex and distal spinal cord. In lumbar spinal cord, a marked increase of myo-inositol was found 3 days, 14 days and 4 months after SCI. Changes in metabolite concentrations in the spinal cord were also found for choline and N-acetylaspartate. No significant changes in metabolite concentrations were found in thalamus/striatum. Multivariate data analysis allowed separation between rats with SCI and controls for spectra acquired in cortex and spinal cord, but not in thalamus/striatum. Our findings suggest MRS could become a helpful tool to monitor spatial and temporal alterations of metabolic conditions in vivo in the brain and spinal cord after SCI. We provide evidence for dynamic temporal changes at both ends of the neuraxis, cortex cerebri and distal spinal cord, while deep brain areas appear less affected.
   
citation Erschbamer M, Oberg J, Westman E, Sitnikov R, Olson L, Spenger C. 1H-MRS in spinal cord injury: acute and chronic metabolite alterations in rat brain and lumbar spinal cord. Eur J Neurosci 2011; 33:678-88.
   
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 20-01-2011
journal title Eur J Neurosci (33/4)
ISSN electronic 1460-9568
pages 678-88
PubMed 21251091
DOI 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2010.07562.x