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Keywords:

  • hyperpolarized 13C;
  • dynamic nuclear polarization;
  • glutamine metabolism;
  • hepatocellular carcinoma

Abstract

Dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) is an emerging technique for increasing the sensitivity of 13C MR spectroscopy (MRS). [5-13C1]Glutamine was hyperpolarized using this technique by up to 5%, representing a 6000-fold increase in sensitivity. The conversion of hyperpolarized glutamine to glutamate by mitochondrial glutaminase was demonstrated using 13C-MRS measurements in cultured human hepatoma cells (HepG2). These results represent the first step in developing an imaging technique for detecting glutamine metabolism in vivo. Furthermore, since glutamine utilization has been correlated with cell proliferation, the study suggests a new technique for detecting changes in tumor cell proliferation. Magn Reson Med 60:253–257, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.