Iron is a critical component of the CNS that must be tightly regulated; too little iron can result in energy insufficiency and too much iron can result in oxidative stress. The intracellular iron storage protein ferritin is central to the regulation of iron. In this study, we determined the neurochemical profile of brains of animals deficient in heavychain ferritin (H-ferritin) using high-resolution magic angle spin proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (HR-MAS 1H MRS). Spectra of 2 mm-thick coronal tissue punches (∼4 mg) were obtained using a CPMGpulse sequence on BrukerAvance 500 and quantified (nmol/mg tissue) using customized LCModel software (16 metabolites). In H-ferritin deficient mice, we found significant increases in striatal glutamate, hippocampal choline, and N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate in both the cortex and the hippocampus (t-test, p < 0.05). Neurochemical profiling with principal component analysis (PCA) revealed increased glutamate in the hippocampus, striatum, and ventral tegmental area (VTA) in H-ferritin deficient animals as compared to wild-type. While lactate was increased in the VTA of deficient animals, it was decreased in the striatum. Also, GABA was increased in both cortical and striatal regions of deficient mice. These changes reveal the importance of proper iron management for maintaining neurochemical balance and provide new evidence for region specific differences in neurochemical profiles as a result of compromised ability of neurons to store iron while overall iron status is normal. Because H-ferritin is predominantly expressed in neurons, the neurochemical profile is suggestive of neuronal iron deficiency and may have relevance to the functional consequences associated with brain iron deficiency.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience