Magnetic resonance spectroscopy of regional brain metabolite markers in FALS mice and the effects of dietary creatine supplementation

A.A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Building 149, 13th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.
European Journal of Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 3.18). 11/2009; 30(11):2143-50. DOI: 10.1111/j.1460-9568.2009.07015.x
Source: PubMed


We investigated the effects of disease progression on brain regional neurochemistry in a mutant mouse model of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FALS; the G93A model) using in vivo and in vitro magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). There were numerous changes in the brain spectra that were brain region dependent. At early time points starting around 80 days of age there were increases in brain glutamate. At later time points there were more extensive changes including decreased N-acetyl aspartate and glutamate and increased glutamine, taurine and myo-inositol. The effects of the disease were most severe in spinal cord followed by medulla and then sensorimotor cortex. There were no changes noted in cerebellum as a control region. The effects of creatine supplementation in the diet (2%) were measured in wild-type and FALS animals in medulla, cerebellum and cortex. The increase in brain creatine was largest in cerebellum (25%) followed by medulla (11%) and then cortex (4%), reflecting the ordering of creatine kinase activity. There was a protective effect of creatine on N-acetyl aspartate loss in the medulla at late stages. Creatine supplementation had a positive effect on weight retention, leading to a 13% increase in weight between 120 and 130 days. MRS shows promise in monitoring multiple facets of neuroprotective strategies in ALS and ALS models.

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