H-1 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy characterisation of metabolic phenotypes in the medulloblastoma of the SMO transgenic mice

SK Hekmatyar, Martin Wilson, N Jerome, RM Salek, JL Griffin, Andrew Peet, RA Kauppinen

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19 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Human medulloblastomas exhibit diverse molecular pathology. Aberrant hedgehog signalling is found in 20-30% of human medulloblastomas with largely unknown metabolic consequences. METHODS: Transgenic mice over-expressing smoothened (SMO) receptor in granule cell precursors with high incidence of exophytic medulloblastomas were sequentially followed up by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and characterised for metabolite phenotypes by H-1 MR spectroscopy (MRS) in vivo and ex vivo using high-resolution magic angle spinning (HR-MAS) H-1 MRS. RESULTS: Medulloblastomas in the SMO mice presented as T-2 hyperintense tumours in MRI. These tumours showed low concentrations of N-acetyl aspartate and high concentrations of choline-containing metabolites (CCMs), glycine, and taurine relative to the cerebellar parenchyma in the wild-type (WT) C57BL/6 mice. In contrast, H-1 MRS metabolite concentrations in normal appearing cerebellum of the SMO mice were not different from those in the WT mice. Macromolecule and lipid H-1 MRS signals in SMO medulloblastomas were not different from those detected in the cerebellum of WT mice. The HR-MAS analysis of SMO medulloblastomas confirmed the in vivo H-1 MRS metabolite profiles, and additionally revealed that phosphocholine was strongly elevated in medulloblastomas accounting for the high in vivo CCM. CONCLUSIONS: These metabolite profiles closely mirror those reported from human medulloblastomas confirming that SMO mice provide a realistic model for investigating metabolic aspects of this disease. Taurine, glycine, and CCM are potential metabolite biomarkers for the SMO medulloblastomas. The MRS data from the medulloblastomas with defined molecular pathology is discussed in the light of metabolite profiles reported from human tumours. British Journal of Cancer (2010) 103, 1297-1304. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6605890 www.bjcancer.com Published online 14 September 2010 (C) 2010 Cancer Research UK
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1297-1304
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010


  • metabolites
  • smoothened receptor
  • transgenic mice
  • H-1 MRS
  • medulloblastoma
  • cerebellum


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