, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 292-300
Date: 29 Nov 2007

A Metabolomic Study of Brain Tissues from Aged Mice with Low Expression of the Vesicular Monoamine Transporter 2 (VMAT2) Gene

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The vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) sequesters monoamines into synaptic vesicles in preparation for neurotransmission. Samples of cerebellum, cortex, hippocampus, substantia nigra and striatum from VMAT2-deficient mice were compared to age-matched control mice. Multivariate statistical analyses of 1H NMR spectral profiles separated VMAT2-deficient mice from controls for all five brain regions. Although the data show that metabolic alterations are region- and age-specific, in general, analyses indicated decreases in the concentrations of taurine and creatine/phosphocreatine and increases in glutamate and N-acetyl aspartate in VMAT2-deficient mouse brain tissues. This study demonstrates the efficacy of metabolomics as a functional genomics phenotyping tool for mouse models of neurological disorders, and indicates that mild reductions in the expression of VMAT2 affect normal brain metabolism.

Special issue article in honor of Dr. Frode Fonnum.