Co-Polarized [1-13C]Pyruvate and [1,3-13C2]Acetoacetate Provide a Simultaneous View of Cytosolic and Mitochondrial Redox in a Single Experiment

Gaurav Sharma, Xiaodong Wen, Nesmine R. Maptue, Thomas Hever, Craig R. Malloy, A. Dean Sherry, Chalermchai Khemtong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Cellular redox is intricately linked to energy production and normal cell function. Although the redox states of mitochondria and cytosol are connected by shuttle mechanisms, the redox state of mitochondria may differ from redox in the cytosol in response to stress. However, detecting these differences in functioning tissues is difficult. Here, we employed 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and co-polarized [1-13C]pyruvate and [1,3-13C2]acetoacetate ([1,3-13C2]AcAc) to monitor production of hyperpolarized (HP) lactate and β-hydroxybutyrate as indicators of cytosolic and mitochondrial redox, respectively. Isolated rat hearts were examined under normoxic conditions, during low-flow ischemia, and after pretreatment with either aminooxyacetate (AOA) or rotenone. All interventions were associated with an increase in [Pi]/[ATP] measured by 31P NMR. In well-oxygenated untreated hearts, rapid conversion of HP [1-13C]pyruvate to [1-13C]lactate and [1,3-13C2]AcAc to [1,3-13C2]β-hydroxybutyrate ([1,3-13C2]β-HB) was readily detected. A significant increase in HP [1,3-13C2]β-HB but not [1-13C]lactate was observed in rotenone-treated and ischemic hearts, consistent with an increase in mitochondrial NADH but not cytosolic NADH. AOA treatments did not alter the productions of HP [1-13C]lactate or [1,3-13C2]β-HB. This study demonstrates that biomarkers of mitochondrial and cytosolic redox may be detected simultaneously in functioning tissues using co-polarized [1-13C]pyruvate and [1,3-13C2]AcAc and 13C MRS and that changes in mitochondrial redox may precede changes in cytosolic redox.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3967-3977
Number of pages11
JournalACS Sensors
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 26 2021


  • acetoacetate
  • cardiac ischemia
  • hyperpolarized C MR
  • pyruvate
  • redox metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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