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Abstract #0304

Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of Regional Metabolic Changes in Rat Brain During Pregnancy

MAGNA25Iris Y. Zhou1, 2, Russell W. Chan1, 2, Leon C. Ho1, 2, Patrick P. Gao1, 2, Ed X. Wu1, 2

1Laboratory of Biomedical Imaging and Signal Processing, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China; 2Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China

In this study, in vivo 1H MRS was employed to investigate the metabolic differences between pregnant and non-pregnant rats in hippocampus and thalamus. Significantly higher level of hippocampal NAA of pregnant rats indicates the increased density of neurons in this region, facilitating supporting behaviors that involving learning and memory. Reduced level of choline in the maternal brain during pregnancy reflects high fetal demands. The raised lactate level in thalamus might be related to the hyperventilation of pregnancy. The results of this study provide neurochemical evidence of the behavioral changes associated with pregnancy.