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J Neurotrauma. 2007 Jun;24(6):944-59.

Time course of early metabolic changes following diffuse traumatic brain injury in rats as detected by (1)H NMR spectroscopy.

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Department of Neurosurgery, La Princesa University Hospital, Madrid, Spain.


Experimental models of traumatic brain injury (TBI) provide a useful tool for understanding the cerebral metabolic changes induced by this pathological condition. Here, we report on the time course of changes in cerebral metabolites after TBI and its correlation with early brain morphological changes using a combination of high-resolution proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1)H MRS) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to closed head impact and examined by MRI at 1, 9, 24, 48, and and 72 h after the injury. Extracts from funnel frozen rat brains were then obtained and analyzed quantitatively by high-resolution (1)H MRS. Finally, statistical multivariate analysis was carried out to identify the combination of cerebral metabolites that best described the time evolution of diffuse TBI. The temporal changes observed in the concentration of cerebral metabolites followed three different patterns. The first pattern included taurine, threonine, and glycine, with concentrations peaking 24 h after the injury. The second pattern included glutamate, GABA, and alanine, with concentrations remaining elevated between 24 and 48 h post-injury. The third one involved creatine-phosphocreatine, N-acetylaspartate, and myo-inositol, with concentrations peaking 48 h after the injury. A multivariate stepwise discriminant analysis revealed that the combination of the organic osmolytes taurine and myo-inositol allowed optimal discrimination among the different time groups. Our findings suggest that the profile of some specific brain molecules that play a role as organic osmolytes can be used to follow-up the progression of the early diffuse brain edema response induced by TBI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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