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Anticancer Res. 2007 Sep-Oct;27(5A):3195-204.

Ex vivo HR-MAS magnetic resonance spectroscopy of normal and malignant human renal tissues.

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Dipartimento di Biochimica "G. Moruzzi", Sezione di Chimica e Propedeutica Biochimica, Universita di Bologna, Bologna, Italy.


The aim of the present study was to examine the metabolic profile of normal and tumoral renal tissues by ex vivo high resolution magic angle spinning magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HR-MAS MRS).


Five patients, three affected by clear cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and two by papillary RCC, were examined. A radical nephrectomy was performed in each. In all patients, fresh tissue samples taken from normal cortex, normal medulla and tumor were collected and analyzed by mono-dimensional HR-MAS MRS.


The spectra of human normal cortex and medulla showed the presence of differently distributed organic osmolytes as markers of a physiological renal condition. The marked decrease or disappearance of these metabolites and the high lipid content (triglycerides and cholesteryl esters) is typical of clear cell RCC, while papillary RCC are characterized by the absence of lipids and very high amounts of taurine.


This paper demonstrates that ex vivo HR-MAS MRS is a viable and powerful means of probing for molecular information in human normal and tumoral renal tissues. This research will constitute the basis for a biochemical classification of renal neoplastic pathologies, especially for RCCs, which can be thus evaluated by in vivo MRS for clinical purposes. Moreover, these data may contribute to a better knowledge of the molecular processes for the basis of the onset of renal carcinogenesis.

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