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Keywords:

  • lactate, NMR-invisible lactate;
  • breast cancer;
  • transgenic breast cancer model;
  • inducible oncogene

This study compared the steady state concentration of lactate in an inducible Her2/nue transgenic breast cancer mouse model and in tumours from the same Her2/neu model grown orthotopically. In vivo lactate was detected by MRS using the Hadamard encoded selective multiple quantum coherence pulse sequence (HadSelMQC) recently developed by our laboratory. A lower lactate signal was observed in the inducible tumours compared to orthotopic tumours in vivo, while ex vivo analysis of perchloric acid extracts revealed similar amounts of this metabolite in both models. Histological staining of mammary tumour specimens showed a much higher level of fat tissue in inducible tumours compared to the orthotopic model. Phantom studies with [3-13C] lactate indicated that a lipid environment could significantly reduce the T2 of lactate and impede its detection. The transgenic inducible model for breast cancer not only better recapitulated the biological aspects of the human disease but also provided additional characteristics related to in vivo detection of lactate that are not available in orthotopic or xenograft models. This study suggests that the level of lactate measured by the HadSelMQC pulse sequence may be underestimated in human patients in the presence of high lipid levels that are typically encountered in the breast. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.