We present for the first time dynamic spectra and spectroscopic images acquired in normal rats at 3T following the injection of (13)C-1-pyruvate that was hyperpolarized by the dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) method. Spectroscopic sampling was optimized for signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and for spectral resolution of (13)C-1-pyruvate and its metabolic products (13)C-1-alanine, (13)C-1-lactate, and (13)C-bicarbonate. Dynamic spectra in rats were collected with a temporal resolution of 3 s from a 90-mm axial slab using a dual (1)H-(13)C quadrature birdcage coil to observe the combined effects of metabolism, flow, and T(1) relaxation. In separate experiments, spectroscopic imaging data were obtained during a 17-s acquisition of a 20-mm axial slice centered on the rat kidney region to provide information on the spatial distribution of the metabolites. Conversion of pyruvate to lactate, alanine, and bicarbonate occurred within a minute of injection. Alanine was observed primarily in skeletal muscle and liver, while pyruvate, lactate, and bicarbonate concentrations were relatively high in the vasculature and kidneys. In contrast to earlier work at 1.5 T, bicarbonate was routinely observed in skeletal muscle as well as the kidney and vasculature.
(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.