Neurochemical profile of the human cervical spinal cord determined by MRS

Andreas Hock, Bertram Wilm, Giorgia Zandomeneghi, Garyfalia Ampanozi, Sabine Franckenberg, Niklaus Zoelch, Patrik Oliver Wyss, Nicola De Zanche, Jurek Nordmeyer-Maßner, Thomas Kraemer, Michael Thali, Matthias Ernst, Spyros Kollias, Anke Henning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


MRS enables insight into the chemical composition of central nervous system tissue. However, technical challenges degrade the data quality when applied to the human spinal cord. Therefore, to date detection of only the most prominent metabolite resonances has been reported in the healthy human spinal cord. The aim of this investigation is to provide an extended metabolic profile including neurotransmitters and antioxidants in addition to metabolites involved in the energy and membrane metabolism of the human cervical spinal cord in vivo. To achieve this, data quality was improved by using a custom-made, cervical detector array together with constructive averaging of a high number of echo signals, which is enabled by the metabolite cycling technique at 3T. In addition, the improved spinal cord spectra were extensively cross-validated, in vivo, post-mortem in situ and ex vivo. Reliable identification of up to nine metabolites was achieved in group analyses for the first time. Distinct features of the spinal cord neurochemical profile, in comparison with the brain neurotransmission system, include decreased concentrations of the sum of glutamate and glutamate and increased concentrations of aspartate, γ-amino-butyric acid, scyllo-inositol and the sum of myo-inositol and glycine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1464-1476
Number of pages13
JournalNMR in biomedicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • ex vivo
  • human spinal cord
  • in situ
  • in vivo
  • proton MRS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy


Dive into the research topics of 'Neurochemical profile of the human cervical spinal cord determined by MRS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this