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Joao Duarte

Research team manager

ludc web

Direct in vivo measurement of glycine and the neurochemical profile in the rat medulla oblongata


  • Lijing Xin
  • Giulio Gambarota
  • João M N Duarte
  • Vladimír Mlynárik
  • Rolf Gruetter

Summary, in English

The medulla oblongata (MO) contains a high density of glycinergic synapses and a particularly high concentration of glycine. The aims of this study were to measure directly in vivo the neurochemical profile, including glycine, in MO using a spin-echo-based (1)H MRS sequence at TE = 2.8 ms and to compare it with three other brain regions (cortex, striatum and hippocampus) in the rat. Glycine was quantified in MO at TE = 2.8 ms with a Cramér-Rao lower bound (CRLB) of approximately 5%. As a result of the relatively low level of glycine in the other three regions, the measurement of glycine was performed at TE = 20 ms, which provides a favorable J-modulation of overlapping myo-inositol resonance. The other 14 metabolites composing the neurochemical profile were quantified in vivo in MO with CRLBs below 25%. Absolute concentrations of metabolites in MO, such as glutamate, glutamine, γ-aminobutyrate, taurine and glycine, were in the range of previous in vitro quantifications in tissue extracts. Compared with the other regions, MO had a three-fold higher glycine concentration, and was characterised by reduced (p < 0.001) concentrations of glutamate (-50 ± 4%), glutamine (-54 ± 3%) and taurine (-78 ± 3%). This study suggests that the functional specialisation of distinct brain regions is reflected in the neurochemical profile.

Publishing year







NMR in Biomedicine





Document type

Journal article


John Wiley & Sons Inc.


  • Animals
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Corpus Striatum
  • Glycine
  • Hippocampus
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Medulla Oblongata
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't




  • ISSN: 0952-3480