Intrauterine fetal brain NMR spectroscopy: 1H and 31P studies in rats

T. Nakada, Ingrid Kwee, N. Suzuki, K. Houkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Fetal brain metabolism was investigated in utero noninvasively using multinuclear nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in rats at two representative prenatal stages: early (17-18 days) and late (20-21 days) stages. Phosphorus-31 (31P) spectroscopy revealed that phosphocreatine is significantly lower in the early stage and increase to the level of early neonates by the late prenatal stage. Intracellular pH at the early stage was found to be strikingly high (7.52 ± 0.21) and decreased to a level similar to that of neonates by the late stage (7.29 ± 0.07). Phosphomonoester levels at both stages were similar to the values reported for early neonates. Water-suppressed proton (1H) spectroscopy demonstrated a distinctive in vivo fetal brain spectral pattern characterized by low levels of N-acetyl aspartate and high levels of taurine. High-resolution proton spectroscopy and homonuclear chemical-shift correlate spectroscopy of brain perchloric acid extracts confirmed these in vivo findings. In vitro 31P spectroscopy of acidified chloroform methanol extracts showed the characteristic membrane phospholipid profiles of fetal brain. The phosphatidylethanolamine (PE)-to-phosphatidylcholine (PC) ratio (PE/PC) did not show significant changes between the two stages at 0.40 ± 0.11, a value similar to that of early neonates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Intrauterine fetal brain NMR spectroscopy: 1H and 31P studies in rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this