Metabolic changes in rat brain after prolonged ethanol consumption measured by 1H and 31P MRS experiments

Zuzana Braunová, Svatava Kašparová, Vladimír Mlynárik, Šárka Mierisová, Tibor Liptaj, Ivan Tkáč, Anna Gvozdjáková

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25 Scopus citations


1. In vivo 1H and 31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy techniques were applied to reveal biochemical changes in the rat brain caused by prolonged ethanol consumption. 2. Three models of ethanol intoxication were used. 3. 1H MRS showed a significant decrease in the concentration of myo-inositol in the brain of rats fed with 20% ethanol for 8 weeks. This change is consistent with perturbances in astrocytes. On the other hand, N-acetyl aspartate and choline content did not differ from controls. 4. 31P MRS did not reveal any significant changes in the high-energy phosphates or intracellular free Mg2+ content in the brain of rats after 14 weeks of 20% ethanol drinking. The intracellular pH was diminished. 5. By means of a 31P saturation transfer technique, a significant decrease was observed for the pseudo first-order rate constant k(for) of the creatine kinase reaction in the brain of rats administered 30% ethanol for 3 weeks using a gastric tube. 6. The 1H MRS results may indicate that myo-inositol loss, reflecting a disorder in astrocytes, might be one of the first changes associated with alcoholism, which could be detected in the brain by means of in vivo 1H MRS. 7. The results from 31P MRS experiments suggest that alcoholism is associated with decreased brain energy metabolism. 8. 31P saturation transfer, which provides insight into the turnover of high-energy phosphates, could be a more suitable technique for studying the brain energetics in chronic pathological states than conventional 31P MRS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-715
Number of pages13
JournalCellular and Molecular Neurobiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic, No. 1/4112/97-99. We would like to thank Miquel Cabañas for kindly providing the MRUI software package (the HLSVD, VARPRO, and AMARES programs) and Dr. Aad van den Boogaart for invaluable help in testing and setting up the MRUI software under Linux.


  • Chronic alcohol intoxication
  • Creatine kinase
  • Energy metabolism
  • Free Mg
  • Intracellular pH
  • MR spectroscopy
  • Magnetization transfer


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