Probing lactate dehydrogenase activity in tumors by measuring hydrogen/deuterium exchange in hyperpolarized L-[1-(13)C,U-(2)H]lactate

Brett W. C. Kennedy, Mikko I. Kettunen, De-En Hu, Kevin M. Brindle

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44 Citations (Scopus)


(13)C magnetic resonance spectroscopy and spectroscopic imaging measurements of hyperpolarized (13)C label exchange between exogenously administered [1-(13)C]pyruvate and endogenous lactate, catalyzed by lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), has proved to be a powerful approach for probing tissue metabolism in vivo. This experiment has clinical potential, particularly in oncology, where it could be used to assess tumor grade and response to treatment. A limitation of the method is that pyruvate must be administered in vivo at supra-physiological concentrations. This problem can be avoided by using hyperpolarized [1-(13)C]lactate, which can be used at physiological concentrations. However, sensitivity is limited in this case by the relatively small pyruvate pool size, which would result in only low levels of labeled pyruvate being observed even if there was complete label equilibration between the lactate and pyruvate pools. We demonstrate here a more sensitive method in which a doubly labeled lactate species can be used to measure LDH-catalyzed exchange in vivo. In this experiment exchange of the C2 deuterium label between injected hyperpolarized l-[1-(13)C,U-(2)H]lactate and endogenous unlabeled lactate is observed indirectly by monitoring phase modulation of the spin-coupled hyperpolarized (13)C signal in a heteronuclear (1)H/(13)C spin-echo experiment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4969-4977
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number10
Early online date9 Feb 2012
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2012


  • carbon isotopes
  • kinetics
  • L-lactate dehydrogenase
  • lactic acid
  • magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • neoplasms


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