Oxidative stress is a critical feature of several common neurologic disorders. The brain is well adapted to neutralize oxidative injury by maintaining a high steady-state concentration of small-molecule intracellular antioxidants including glutathione in astrocytes and ascorbic acid in neurons. Ascorbate-derived imaging probes for hyperpolarized 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy and positron emission tomography have been used to study redox changes (antioxidant depletion and reactive oxygen species accumulation) in vivo. In this study, we applied these imaging probes to the normal rat brain and a rat model of glutathione depletion. We first studied hyperpolarized [1-13C]dehydroascorbate in the normal rat brain, demonstrating its robust conversion to [1-13C]vitamin C, consistent with rapid transport of the oxidized form across the blood-brain barrier. We next showed that the kinetic rate of this conversion decreased by nearly 50% after glutathione depletion by diethyl maleate treatment. Finally, we showed that dehydroascorbate labeled for positron emission tomography, namely [1-11C]dehydroascorbate, showed no change in brain signal accumulation after diethyl maleate treatment. These results suggest that hyperpolarized [1-13C]dehydroascorbate may be used to non-invasively detect oxidative stress in common disorders of the brain.