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NMR Biomed. 2013 Oct;26(10):1321-5. doi: 10.1002/nbm.2957. Epub 2013 May 27.

¹H NMR and hyperpolarized ¹³C NMR assays of pyruvate-lactate: a comparative study.

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  • 1Cancer Research UK and EPRSC Cancer Imaging Centre, Division of Radiotherapy and Imaging, The Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Sutton, Surrey, UK.


Pyruvate-lactate exchange is mediated by the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and is central to the altered energy metabolism in cancer cells. The measurement of exchange kinetics using hyperpolarized (13) C NMR has provided a biomarker of response to novel therapeutics. However, the observable signal is restricted to the exchanging hyperpolarized (13) C pools and the endogenous pools of (12) C-labelled metabolites are invisible in these measurements. In this study, we investigated an alternative in vitro (1) H NMR assay, using [3-(13) C]pyruvate, and compared the measured kinetics with a hyperpolarized (13) C NMR assay, using [1-(13) C]pyruvate, under the same conditions in human colorectal carcinoma SW1222 cells. The apparent forward reaction rate constants (kPL ) derived from the two assays showed no significant difference, and both assays had similar reproducibility (kPL  = 0.506 ± 0.054 and kPL  = 0.441 ± 0.090 nmol/s/10(6) cells; mean ± standard deviation; n = 3); (1) H, (13) C assays, respectively). The apparent backward reaction rate constant (kLP ) could only be measured with good reproducibility using the (1) H NMR assay (kLP  = 0.376 ± 0.091 nmol/s/10(6) cells; mean ± standard deviation; n = 3). The (1) H NMR assay has adequate sensitivity to measure real-time pyruvate-lactate exchange kinetics in vitro, offering a complementary and accessible assay of apparent LDH activity.

Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


13C NMR; 1H NMR; cancer; hyperpolarized pyruvate; lactate; lactate dehydrogenase activity

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