Investigation of the 1H NMR visibility of lactate in different rat and human brain cells

Klaus Kotitschke, Klaus D. Schnackerz, Ralf Dringen, Ulrich Bogdahn, Axel Haase, Markus von Kienlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


In recent years, 1H MRS has been used in a number of studies to measure the lactate content of brain, and it is generally assumed that the methyl resonance at 1.3 ppm reflects the total amount of lactate present in the tissue. However, reduced NMR visibility of lactate has recently been reported for blood, heart and skeletal muscle as well as for bacteria. We have assessed the NMR visibility of lactate in cultures of human and rat brain cells, comparing the concentrations measured by NMR and by biochemical methods. Contributions of fatty acids have been eliminated using their different relaxation behavior. We found approximately 30% of the lactate to be undetectable by NMR in the studied cell cultures. While the mechanism partially masking lactate in 1H spectra is not yet understood, the potential invisibility of some pools of lactate to NMR may greatly affect the interpretation of brain spectra.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-355
Number of pages7
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1994
Externally publishedYes


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