The aim of this study was to investigate the medial preoptic nucleus (MPN) of the anterior hypothalamus by resonance Raman spectroscopy (514.5 nm) to determine if it is possible to enhance the Raman scattering of hemoproteins in fresh brain tissue slices. The resonance effect was compared with near-infrared Raman spectra. Two groups of male Sprague Dawley rats were studied, one control group on a normal diet and one group on a low-iron diet to evoke iron deficiency. Each group consisted of four rats, 38-41 days old. The diets lasted for 11, 12, and 15 days. The MPN regions of brain tissue slices were analyzed by monitoring raw and pre-processed mean data, by cluster analysis, and by deriving difference spectra from pre-processed mean spectra. Cluster analysis of the resonance Raman spectra could identify different hemoprotein groups, namely, hemoglobin (Hb) and neuroglobin (Ngb). Spectra from randomly distributed spots revealed high Hb content, whereas Ngb was evenly distributed in the MPN. The different spectra showed a decrease of the Ngb and lipid content for the animals on the low-iron diet. The Ngb decrease was approximately 20%. The data show that resonance Raman spectroscopy is well suited to study hemoproteins in fresh brain tissue.

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