Billingsley, K. L., Josan, S., Park, J. M., Tee, S. S., Spielman-Sun, E., Hurd, R., . . . Spielman, D. (2014). Hyperpolarized [1,4-C-13]-diethylsuccinate: a potential DNP substrate for in vivo metabolic imaging. NMR in Biomedicine, 27(3), 356-362.
The tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle performs an essential role in the regulation of energy and metabolism, and deficiencies in this pathway are commonly correlated with various diseases. However, the development of non-invasive techniques for the assessment of the cycle in vivo has remained challenging. In this work, the applicability of a novel imaging agent, [1,4-(13)C]-diethylsuccinate, for hyperpolarized (13)C metabolic imaging of the TCA cycle was explored. In vivo spectroscopic studies were conducted in conjunction with in vitro analyses to determine the metabolic fate of the imaging agent. Contrary to previous reports (Zacharias NM et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012; 134: 934-943), [(13)C]-labeled diethylsuccinate was primarily metabolized to succinate-derived products not originating from TCA cycle metabolism. These results illustrate potential issues of utilizing dialkyl ester analogs of TCA cycle intermediates as molecular probes for hyperpolarized (13)C metabolic imaging.