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Magn Reson Imaging. 2011 Oct;29(8):1035-40. doi: 10.1016/j.mri.2011.07.001. Epub 2011 Aug 19.

In vivo measurement of normal rat intracellular pyruvate and lactate levels after injection of hyperpolarized [1-(13)C]alanine.

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  • 1Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Box 2512, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94158-2512, USA.


Hyperpolarized technology utilizing dynamic nuclear polarization has enabled rapid and high-sensitivity measurements of (13)C metabolism in vivo. The most commonly used in vivo agent for hyperpolarized (13)C metabolic imaging thus far has been [1-(13)C]pyruvate. In preclinical studies, not only is its uptake detected, but also its intracellular enzymatic conversion to metabolic products including [1-(13)C]lactate and [1-(13)C]alanine. However, the ratio of (13)C-lactate/(13)C-pyruvate measured in this data does not accurately reflect cellular values since much of the [1-(13)C]pyruvate is extracellular depending on timing, vascular properties, and extracellular space and monocarboxylate transporter activity. In order to measure the relative levels of intracellular pyruvate and lactate, in this project we hyperpolarized [1-(13)C]alanine and monitored the in vivo conversion to [1-(13)C]pyruvate and then the subsequent conversion to [1-(13)C]lactate. The intracellular lactate-to-pyruvate ratio of normal rat tissue measured with hyperpolarized [1-(13)C]alanine was 4.89±0.61 (mean±S.E.) as opposed to a ratio of 0.41±0.03 when hyperpolarized [1-(13)C]pyruvate was injected.

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