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The Krebs cycle plays a fundamental role in cardiac energy production and is often implicated in the energetic imbalance characteristic of heart disease. In this study, we measured Krebs cycle flux in real time in perfused rat hearts using hyperpolarized magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). [2-(13)C]Pyruvate was hyperpolarized and infused into isolated perfused hearts in both healthy and postischemic metabolic states. We followed the enzymatic conversion of pyruvate to lactate, acetylcarnitine, citrate, and glutamate with 1 s temporal resolution. The appearance of (13)C-labeled glutamate was delayed compared with that of other metabolites, indicating that Krebs cycle flux can be measured directly. The production of (13)C-labeled citrate and glutamate was decreased postischemia, as opposed to lactate, which was significantly elevated. These results showed that the control and fluxes of the Krebs cycle in heart disease can be studied using hyperpolarized [2-(13)C]pyruvate.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





2529 - 2538


Acetylcarnitine, Animals, Carbon Isotopes, Citric Acid, Citric Acid Cycle, Energy Metabolism, Glutamic Acid, In Vitro Techniques, Kinetics, Lactic Acid, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Male, Models, Cardiovascular, Myocardial Ischemia, Myocardium, Perfusion, Pyruvic Acid, Rats, Rats, Wistar