Analytical methods often benefit from progress in other fields of science. One of the best-illustrated and most spectacular examples is NMR technology and its numerous improvements that have resulted from new applications in biology and medicine. These techniques came under the term MRI during the mid 1970s, and then in vivo MRS since the early 1980s. Biomedical NMR of lipids is presently emerging as an exciting topic in onco-biology. However, for various reasons, biochemists up to quite recently showed more interest in proteins than in lipids. This is probably because proteins are “active” reactant molecules and lipids are often still considered as merely nutritional or structurally more “passive” components. While classical biochemistry quantifies molecules independently from each other, biophysical methods, including NMR, also take into account the multi-molecular structure and the resulting “visibility” of each component, which is itself related to mobility. Results from numerous studies concerning lipids in cancer mainly focused on blood plasma using high resolution in vitro NMR, cells using both classical high resolution ex-vivo NMR and high-resolution Magic Angle Spinning NMR and, more recently, in vivo tumours by single-voxel spectroscopy or by Chemical Shift Imaging.
Keywords: blood plasma lipoproteins, Malignancy Associated Lipoprotein, HDL, tetraphenylphosphonium chloride (TPP), Multidrug Resistance
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