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Keywords:

  • anaesthesia;
  • cerebral cortex;
  • development;
  • metabolism;
  • NMR spectroscopy

J. Neurochem. (2010) 115, 1466–1477.

Abstract

The neurochemical profile of the cortex develops in a region and time specific manner, which can be distorted by psychiatric and other neurological pathologies. Pre-clinical studies often involve experimental mouse models. In this study, we determined the neurochemical profile of C57BL/6 mice in a longitudinal study design to provide a reference frame for the normal developing mouse cortex. Using in vivo proton NMR spectroscopy at 14 T, we measured the concentrations of 18 metabolites in the anterior and posterior cortex on postnatal days (P) 10, 20, 30, 60 and 90. Cortical development was marked by alterations of highly concentrated metabolites, such as N-acetylaspartate, glutamate, taurine and creatine. Regional specificity was represented by early variations in the concentration of glutamine, aspartate and choline. In adult animals, regional concentration differences were found for N-acetylaspartate, creatine and myo-inositol. In this study, animals were exposed to recurrent isoflurane anaesthesia. Additional experiments showed that the latter was devoid of major effects on behaviour or cortical neurochemical profile. In conclusion, the high sensitivity and reproducibility of the measurements achieved at 14 T allowed us to identify developmental variations of cortical areas within the mouse cortex.