13C and 1H NMR spectroscopy of plasma glucose was used to resolve the isotopomer contributions from tracer levels of [1,6-13C2]glucose, a novel tracer of glucose carbon skeleton turnover, and [U-13C]propionate, a tracer of hepatic citric acid cycle metabolism. This allowed simultaneous measurements of hepatic glucose production and citric acid cycle fluxes from the NMR analysis of a single plasma glucose sample in fasted animals. Glucose carbon skeleton turnover, as reported by the dilution of [1,6-13C2]glucose, was 56 +/- 2 micromol/kg/min in the presence of labeling from [U-13C]propionate and 53 +/- 4 micromol/kg/min in its absence. Therefore, as expected, the labeling contributions from [U-13C]propionate metabolism did not have a significant effect on the measurement of glucose turnover. For the group infused with both tracers, citric acid cycle flux estimates from the analysis of glucose C2 isotopomer ratios were consistent with those from our recent experiments where only [U-13C]propionate was infused, verifying that the presence of [1,6-13C2]glucose did not interfere with these measurements. This integrated analysis of hepatic glucose output and citric acid cycle fluxes from plasma glucose isotopomers yielded a noninvasive estimate of hepatic citrate synthase flux of 74 +/- 12 micromol/kg/min for 24-h fasted rats.
Copyright 1998 Academic Press.