Metabolites2014, 4(4), 889-920; doi:10.3390/metabo4040889 - published 30 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Crop production is highly sensitive to elevated temperatures. A rise of a few degrees above the optimum growing temperature can lead to a dramatic yield loss. A predicted increase of 1–3 degrees in the twenty first century urges breeders to develop thermo-tolerant crops which are tolerant to high temperatures. Breeding for thermo-tolerance is a challenge due to the low heritability of this trait. A better understanding of heat stress tolerance and the development of reliable methods to phenotype thermo-tolerance are key factors for a successful breeding approach. Plant reproduction is the most temperature-sensitive process in the plant life cycle. More precisely, pollen quality is strongly affected by heat stress conditions. High temperature leads to a decrease of pollen viability which is directly correlated with a loss of fruit production. The reduction in pollen viability is associated with changes in the level and composition of several (groups of) metabolites, which play an important role in pollen development, for example by contributing to pollen nutrition or by providing protection to environmental stresses. This review aims to underline the importance of maintaining metabolite homeostasis during pollen development, in order to produce mature and fertile pollen under high temperature. The review will give an overview of the current state of the art on the role of various pollen metabolites in pollen homeostasis and thermo-tolerance. Their possible use as metabolic markers to assist breeding programs for plant thermo-tolerance will be discussed.
Metabolites2014, 4(4), 879-888; doi:10.3390/metabo4040879 - published 29 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Monitoring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from exhaled breath has been used to determine exposures of humans to chemicals. Prior to analysis of VOCs, breath samples are often collected with canisters or bags and concentrated. The Bio-VOC breath sampler, a commercial sampling device, has been recently introduced to the market with growing use. The main advantage for this sampler is to collect the last portion of exhaled breath, which is more likely to represent the air deep in the lungs. However, information about the Bio-VOC sampler is somewhat limited. Therefore, we have thoroughly evaluated the sampler here. We determined the volume of the breath air collected in the sampler was approximately 88 mL. When sampling was repeated multiple times, with the succeeding exhalations applied to a single sorbent tube, we observed linear relationships between the normalized peak intensity and the number of repeated collections with the sampler in many of the breath VOCs detected. No moisture effect was observed on the Tenax sorbent tubes used. However, due to the limitation in the collection volume, the use of the Bio-VOC sampler is recommended only for detection of VOCs present at high concentrations unless repeated collections of breath samples on the sampler are conducted.
Metabolites2014, 4(3), 831-878; doi:10.3390/metabo4030831 - published 25 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Mitochondrial dysfunction(s) (MDs) can be defined as alterations in the mitochondria, including mitochondrial uncoupling, mitochondrial depolarization, inhibition of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, mitochondrial network fragmentation, mitochondrial or nuclear DNA mutations and the mitochondrial accumulation of protein aggregates. All these MDs are known to alter the capacity of ATP production and are observed in several pathological states/diseases, including cancer, obesity, muscle and neurological disorders. The induction of MDs can also alter the secretion of several metabolites, reactive oxygen species production and modify several cell-signalling pathways to resolve the mitochondrial dysfunction or ultimately trigger cell death. Many metabolites, such as fatty acids and derived compounds, could be secreted into the blood stream by cells suffering from mitochondrial alterations. In this review, we summarize how a mitochondrial uncoupling can modify metabolites, the signalling pathways and transcription factors involved in this process. We describe how to identify the causes or consequences of mitochondrial dysfunction using metabolomics (liquid and gas chromatography associated with mass spectrometry analysis, NMR spectroscopy) in the obesity and insulin resistance thematic.
Metabolites2014, 4(3), 807-830; doi:10.3390/metabo4030807 - published 12 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Inhibition of protein deacetylation enzymes, alone or in combination with standard chemotherapies, is an exciting addition to cancer therapy. We have investigated the effect of deacetylase inhibition on the metabolism of glioblastoma cells. 1H NMR metabolomics analysis was used to determine the major metabolic changes following treatment of two distinct glioblastoma cell lines, U373 and LN229, with five different histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors, as well as one inhibitor of NAD+-dependent protein deacetylases (SIRT). The addition of the standard glioblastoma chemotherapy agent, temozolomide, to the HDAC and SIRT treatments led to a reduction in cell survival, suggesting a possibility for combined treatment. This study shows that distinct glioblastoma cell lines, with different metabolic profiles and gene expression, experience dissimilar changes following treatment with protein deacetylase inhibitors. The observed effects of inhibitors on mitochondrial metabolism, glycolysis and fatty acid synthesis suggest possible roles of protein deacetylases in metabolism regulation. Metabolic markers of the effectiveness of anti-protein deacetylase treatments have been explored. In addition to known deacetylation inhibitors, three novel inhibitors have been introduced and tested. Finally, 1H NMR analysis of cellular metabolism is shown to be a fast, inexpensive method for testing drug effects.
Metabolites2014, 4(3), 790-806; doi:10.3390/metabo4030790 - published 12 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We explored the feasibility of collecting exhaled breath from a moribund gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) for potential non-invasive health monitoring of marine mammals. Biogenic volatile organic compound (VOC) profiling is a relatively new field of research, in which the chemical composition of breath is used to non-invasively assess the health and physiological processes on-going within an animal or human. In this study, two telescopic sampling poles were designed and tested with the primary aim of collecting whale breath exhalations (WBEs). Once the WBEs were successfully collected, they were immediately transferred onto a stable matrix sorbent through a custom manifold system. A total of two large volume WBEs were successfully captured and pre-concentrated onto two Tenax®-TA traps (one exhalation per trap). The samples were then returned to the laboratory where they were analyzed using solid phase micro extraction (SPME) and gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). A total of 70 chemicals were identified (58 positively identified) in the whale breath samples. These chemicals were also matched against a database of VOCs found in humans, and 44% of chemicals found in the whale breath are also released by healthy humans. The exhaled gray whale breath showed a rich diversity of chemicals, indicating the analysis of whale breath exhalations is a promising new field of research.
Metabolites2014, 4(3), 775-789; doi:10.3390/metabo4030775 - published 11 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The benefit of calcium channel blockers for cardiovascular prevention against heart attack and stroke has not been firmly supported. We investigated the possible cardiovascular protective effect of diltiazem (DTZ) against injury induced by isoproterenol using a freely moving rat model in vivo. Sprague Dawley rats were injected subcutaneously (sc) with either 5 or 10 mg/kg of DTZ, or saline as control, twice daily for five doses. One hour after the last injection, a single dose of isoproterenol (30 mg/kg) was injected sc to each rat. Blood samples were collected serially for 6 h for measurement of adenine nucleotides (ATP, ADP and AMP) in red blood cell (RBC) by a validated HPLC. The study has shown isoproterenol induced 50% mortality and also increased RBC concentrations of AMP from 0.04 ± 0.02 to 0.29 ± 0.21 mM at the end of the experiment (p < 0.05). Treatment with 10 mg/kg of DTZ reduced mortality from 50% to <20% and attenuated the increase of RBC concentrations of AMP from +0.25 ± 0.22 in the control rats to +0.072 ± 0.092 mM (p < 0.05). The study concluded that 10 mg/kg of DTZ reduced mortality and breakdown of ATP induced by isoproterenol in rats.