Imaging Brain Metabolism
Hyperpolarized [1-13C]pyruvate ([1-13C]Pyr) has been used to assess metabolism in healthy and diseased states, focusing on the downstream labeling of lactate (Lac), bicarbonate and alanine. Although hyperpolarized [2-13C] Pyr, which retains the labeled carbon when Pyr is converted to acetyl-coenzyme A, has been used successfully to assess mitochondrial metabolism in the heart, the application of [2-13C]Pyr in the study of brain metabolism has been limited to date, with Lac being the only downstream metabolic product reported previously. In this study, sin- gle-time-point chemical shift imaging data were acquired from rat brain in vivo. [5-13C]Glutamate, [1-13C] acetylcarnitine and [1-13C]citrate were detected in addition to resonances from [2-13C]Pyr and [2-13C]Lac. Brain metabolism was further investigated by infusing dichloroacetate, which upregulates Pyr flux to acetyl-coenzyme A. After dichloroacetate administration, a 40% increase in [5-13C]glutamate, primarily from brain, and a trend to higher citrate were detected, whereas [1-13C]acetylcarnitine was increased in peripheral tissues. This study demonstrates, for the first time, that hyperpolarized [2-13C]Pyr can be used for the in vivo investigation of mitochondrial function and tricarboxylic acid cycle metabolism in brain.