, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 573-580
Date: 28 Dec 2012

Metabolomic Analysis of Cerebrospinal Fluid Indicates Iron Deficiency Compromises Cerebral Energy Metabolism in the Infant Monkey

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Iron deficiency anemia affects many pregnant women and young infants worldwide. The health impact is significant, given iron’s known role in many body functions, including oxidative and lipid metabolism, protein synthesis and brain neurochemistry. The following research determined if 1H NMR spectroscopy-based metabolomic analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) could detect the adverse influence of early life iron deficiency on the central nervous system. Using a controlled dietary model in 43 infant primates, distinct differences were found in spectra acquired at 600 MHz from the CSF of anemic monkeys. Three metabolite ratios, citrate/pyruvate, citrate/lactate and pyruvate/glutamine ratios, differed significantly in the iron deficient infant and then normalized following the consumption of dietary iron and improvement of clinical indices of anemia in the heme compartment. This distinctive metabolomic profile associated with anemia in the young infant indicates that CSF can be employed to track the neurological effects of iron deficiency and benefits of iron supplementation.