Sex- and sex hormone-related variations in energy-metabolic frontal brain asymmetries: A magnetic resonance spectroscopy study

Helene Hjelmervik, Markus Hausmann, Alexander R. Craven, Marco Hirnstein, Kenneth Hugdahl, Karsten Specht
2018 NeuroImage  
2018) 'Sex-and sex hormone-related variations in energy-metabolic frontal brain asymmetries : a magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. ', NeuroImage., The full-text may be used and/or reproduced, and given to third parties in any format or medium, without prior permission or charge, for personal research or study, educational, or not-for-prot purposes provided that: • a full bibliographic reference is made to the original source • a link is made to the metadata record in DRO • the full-text is
more » ... ot changed in any way The full-text must not be sold in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders. Please consult the full DRO policy for further details. Specht, K. (2018). Sex-and sex hormone-related variations in energy-metabolic frontal brain asymmetries: A magnetic resonance spectroscopy study. Neuroimage, in press. Abstract Creatine is a key regulator of brain energy homeostasis, and well-balanced creatine metabolism is central in healthy brain functioning. Still, the variability of brain creatine metabolism is largely unattended in magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) research. In the human brain, marginal sex differences in creatine levels have been found in the prefrontal cortex. It is however not known to what degree these sex differences are stable or change with varying gonadal hormone levels. The current study therefore investigated creatine in the prefrontal cortex across the menstrual cycle. In addition, we explored cerebral asymmetries. Creatine, Choline (Cho), N-acetylaspartate (NAA), Myo inositol (mI), and glutamate+glutamine (Glx) were assessed three times in 15 women and 14 men using MRS. Women were tested in cycle phases of varying hormone levels (menstrual, follicular, and luteal phase). Prefrontal creatine was found to change across the menstrual cycle, in a hemisphere-specific manner. Women in the follicular phase showed increased left prefrontal creatine accompanied with reduced right prefrontal creatine, while this asymmetry was not present in the luteal phase. In men, the creatine levels remained stable across three testing sessions. In general, both men and women were found to have higher creatine levels in the left as compared to the right prefrontal cortex. Exploratory analyses of other metabolites showed similar asymmetries in NAA, Cho, and mI, while Cho also showed a menstrual cycle effect. This is the first time that sex hormone-related changes in creatine metabolism have been demonstrated in the human brain. These findings may have important methodological implications for MRS research, as it supports previous concerns against uncritical usage of creatine as a reference measure for other metabolites, assumed to be invariant across individuals and conditions.
doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.01.043 pmid:29391242 fatcat:tikv5zletbegrp7mtfuqsb447q