Henk M. De Feyter1, Robin A. de Graaf1, Fahmeed Hyder1, Kevin L. Behar2, Douglas L. Rothman1
1Diagnostic Radiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States; 2Department of Psychiatry, Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States
The ketogenic diet induces low glucose levels while several-fold increasing plasma ketone bodies and is receiving attention as alternative or additional treatment for the standard management of brain tumors. In contrast to healthy brain cells, tumor cells supposedly lack the enzymes to oxidize ketone bodies and thus have insufficient energy to grow on low glucose. However in vivo evidence for the functional capacity of brain tumors to metabolize ketone bodies is lacking. We therefore applied in vivo 1H-[13C] magnetic resonance spectroscopy with infusion of 13C-labeled-hydroxybutyrate in a rat model of malignant glioma to investigate metabolic pathways of ketone bodies in tumorous and non-tumorous brain tissue.