Phospholipid profile of the human brain: 31P NMR spectroscopic study

Ingrid Kwee, T. Nakada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylserine, phosphatidylinositol, sphingomyelin, and ethanolamine plasmalogen represent the six most abundant phospholipids of brain cell membrane. The ratio of the phospholipid contents (phospholipid profile) of the brain is remarkably consistent under various metabolic conditions and alteration of the phospholipid profile is believed to reflect changes in the membrane system. We describe here a simple but sensitive method to analyze the phospholid profile of the human brain utilizing the acidified chloroform-methanol lipid extraction method of Folch et al. and 31P nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Unique regional phospholipid profiles were consistently obtained. Although the large chemical-shift anisotropy of the 31P confined to rigid structures such as the cell membrane precludes direct observation of phospholipid profiles in living tissues, a reflection of the membrane phospholipid profiles can nevertheless be obtained by studying 'NMR visible' water soluble intermediate metabolites of membrane phospholipids in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-299
Number of pages4
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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