Longitudinal relaxation enhancement in 1HNMR spectroscopy of tissue metabolites via spectrally selective excitation

Noam Shemesh, Jean-Nicolas Dumez, Lucio Frydman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is governed by longitudinal (T 1) relaxation. For protein and nucleic acid experiments in solutions, it is well established that apparent T1 values can be enhanced by selective excitation of targeted resonances. The present study explores such longitudinal relaxation enhancement (LRE) effects for molecules residing in biological tissues. The longitudinal relaxation recovery of tissue resonances positioned both down- and upfield of the water peak were measured by spectrally selective excitation/refocusing pulses, and compared with conventional water-suppressed, broadband-excited counterparts at 9.4T. Marked LRE effects with up to threefold reductions in apparent T1 values were observed as expected for resonances in the 6-9ppm region; remarkably, statistically significant LRE effects were also found for several non-exchanging metabolite resonances in the 1-4ppm region, encompassing 30-50 % decreases in apparent T1 values. These LRE effects suggest a novel means of increasing the sensitivity of tissue-oriented experiments, and open new vistas to investigate the nature of interactions among metabolites, water and macromolecules at a molecular level. Relax your mind: Longitudinal relaxation enhancement (LRE) is a phenomenon known in biomolecular NMR spectroscopy, which so far has not been observed for metabolites in tissues. In brain tissues, selective excitation shortens the apparent T1 of exchanging metabolic resonances by 30-300 %. The ensuing high-fidelity spectra are promising for studying the nature of metabolic interactions within tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13002-13008
Number of pages7
JournalChemistry-A European Journal
Issue number39
StatePublished - 23 Sep 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry


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