Simon Hu1, Hikari Yoshihara1, Robert Bok1, Asha Balakrishnan2, Andrei Goga2, John Kurhanewicz1, Daniel B. Vigneron1
1Dept. of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States; 2Dept. of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, United States
Development of hyperpolarized technology utilizing dynamic nuclear polarization has enabled the measurement of 13C metabolism in vivo at very high SNR. In this work, hyperpolarized [5-13C]glutamine was used to probe glutaminase activity in vivo in a MYC oncogene driven liver cancer mouse model and in normal mice. Slab-localized spectra were obtained, and the areas associated with glutamine and glutamate peaks were quantified. A significant increase in glutamate to glutamine ratio (P = 0.0021) was detected in liver tumor versus normal tissue. MYC transcription has been linked with increased glutamine catabolism, a phenomenon termed glutamine addiction, which is consistent with the increased glutaminase activity we observed.