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J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci. 2008 Aug 15;871(2):164-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2008.05.001. Epub 2008 May 8.

The human cerebrospinal fluid metabolome.

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Department of Computing Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.


With continuing improvements in analytical technology and an increased interest in comprehensive metabolic profiling of biofluids and tissues, there is a growing need to develop comprehensive reference resources for certain clinically important biofluids, such as blood, urine and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). As part of our effort to systematically characterize the human metabolome we have chosen to characterize CSF as the first biofluid to be intensively scrutinized. In doing so, we combined comprehensive NMR, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and liquid chromatography (LC) Fourier transform-mass spectrometry (FTMS) methods with computer-aided literature mining to identify and quantify essentially all of the metabolites that can be commonly detected (with today's technology) in the human CSF metabolome. Tables containing the compounds, concentrations, spectra, protocols and links to disease associations that we have found for the human CSF metabolome are freely available at

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