<p>Early diagnosis and follow-up of neurodegenerative diseases are often hampered by the lack of reliable biomarkers. Neuroimaging techniques like magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) offer promising tools to detect biochemical alterations at early stages of degeneration. Intracellular pH, which can be measured noninvasively by (31)P-MRS, has shown variations in several brain diseases. Our purpose has been to evaluate the potential of MRS-measured pH as a relevant biomarker of early degeneration in Huntington's disease (HD). We used a translational approach starting with a preclinical validation of our hypothesis before adapting the method to HD patients. (31)P-MRS-derived cerebral pH was first measured in rodents during chronic intoxication with 3-nitropropionic acid (3NP). A significant pH increase was observed early into the intoxication protocol (pH=7.17±0.02 after 3 days) as compared with preintoxication (pH=7.08±0.03). Furthermore, pH changes correlated with the 3NP-induced inhibition of succinate dehydrogenase and preceded striatum lesions. Using a similar MRS approach implemented on a clinical MRI, we then showed that cerebral pH was significantly higher in HD patients (n=7) than in healthy controls (n=6) (7.05±0.03 versus 7.02±0.01, respectively, P=0.026). Altogether, both preclinical and human data strongly argue in favor of MRS-measured pH being a promising biomarker for diagnosis and follow-up of HD.</p>
pH as a biomarker of neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease: a translational rodent-human MRS study.
J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2012;32(5):771-9.
MeSH terms: Adult; Animals; Antihypertensive Agents; Biomarkers; Corpus Striatum; Female; Humans; Huntington Disease; Hydrogen-Ion Concentration; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy; Male; Middle Aged; Nitro Compounds; Propionates; Radiography; Rats; Translational Research, Biomedical