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Abstract #0450

Interplay of Iron and Copper in the Neuromelanin-Related Paramagnetic Relaxation Enhancement

Niklas Wallstein1, Andreas Pöppl2, Andrea Capucciati3, André Pampel 1, Carsten Jäger1, Fabio A. Zucca4, Enrico Monzani3, Luigi Casella3, Luigi Zecca4, and Harald E. Möller1,2
1Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany, 2Leipzig University, Faculty of Physics and Earth Sciences, Felix Bloch Institute for Solid State Physics, Leipzig, Germany, 3Department of Chemistry, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy, 4Institute of Biomedical Technologies, National Research Council of Italy, Segrate, Italy


Neuromelanin-sensitive MRI receives interest as potential biomarker in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. It is known that human neuromelanin pigments bind large quantities of toxic metal ions, especially iron but also other transition metals including copper. These melanin-iron complexes are a potential source of paramagnetic relaxation enhancement of water proton. In relaxometry investigations, we found deviations from a simple linear concentration-dependent T1 shortening in synthetic neuromelanins containing different amounts of iron and copper. Knowledge of the occupation of distinct metal binding sites seems crucial for contrast optimization or attempts to quantify metal content by MRI.

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