Probing carbohydrate metabolism using hyperpolarized 13C-labeled molecules

Jaspal Singh, Eul Hyun Suh, Gaurav Sharma, Chalermchai Khemtong, A. Dean Sherry, Zoltan Kovacs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Glycolysis is a fundamental metabolic process in all organisms. Anomalies in glucose metabolism are linked to various pathological conditions. In particular, elevated aerobic glycolysis is a characteristic feature of rapidly growing cells. Glycolysis and the closely related pentose phosphate pathway can be monitored in real time by hyperpolarized 13C-labeled metabolic substrates such as 13C-enriched, deuterated D-glucose derivatives, [2-13C]-D-fructose, [2-13C] dihydroxyacetone, [1-13C]-D-glycerate, [1-13C]-D-glucono-δ-lactone and [1-13C] pyruvate in healthy and diseased tissues. Elevated glycolysis in tumors (the Warburg effect) was also successfully imaged using hyperpolarized [U-13C6, U-2H7]-D-glucose, while the size of the preexisting lactate pool can be measured by 13C MRS and/or MRI with hyperpolarized [1-13C]pyruvate. This review summarizes the application of various hyperpolarized 13C-labeled metabolites to the real-time monitoring of glycolysis and related metabolic processes in normal and diseased tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4018
JournalNMR in Biomedicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • dynamic nuclear polarization
  • glycolysis
  • hyperpolarized C NMR
  • metabolic probes


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