Metabolites2014, 4(1), 131-141; doi:10.3390/metabo4010131 - published online 4 March 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: NMR is a robust analytical technique that has been employed to investigate the properties of many substances of agricultural relevance. NMR was first used to investigate the properties of milk in the 1950s and has since been employed in a wide range of studies; including properties analysis of specific milk proteins to metabolomics techniques used to monitor the health of dairy cows. In this brief review, we highlight the different uses of NMR in the dairy industry.
Metabolites2014, 4(1), 115-128; doi:10.3390/metabo4010115 - published online 19 February 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Two publications from the same research group reporting on the detection of new possible biomarkers for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), based on the analysis of cerebrospinal fluid samples (CSF) with 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), are at the origin of the present study. The authors observed significant differences in 1H NMR spectra of CSF from AD patients and healthy controls and, thus, proposed some NMR signals (without attribution) as possible biomarkers. However, this work was carried out in non-standardized pH conditions. Our study aims at warning about a possible misinterpretation that can arise from 1H NMR analyses of CSF samples if pH adjustment is not done before NMR analysis. Indeed, CSF pH increases rapidly after removal and is subject to changes over conservation time. We first identify the NMR signals described by the authors as biomarkers. We then focus on the chemical shift variations of their NMR signals as a function of pH in both standard solutions and CSF samples. Finally, a principal component analysis of 1H NMR data demonstrates that the same CSF samples recorded at pH 8.1 and 10.0 are statistically differentiated.
Metabolites2014, 4(1), 98-114; doi:10.3390/metabo4010098 - published online 27 January 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (LC-MS) is an effective and popular technique used in lipid metabolomic studies. Although many LC-MS methods enabling the determination of sphingolipid molecular species have been reported, they do not cover a broad range of sphingolipid metabolites with expanding glycerophospholipids (GPLs) and diacylglycerol (DAG). In this study, we developed an approach for the comprehensive analysis of sphingolipids, GPLs and DAG molecular species in a biological sample, without alkaline hydrolysis. After validating the reliability of this approach, we analyzed tissue lipids of sphingomyelin synthase 2-knockout mice and found that changes in sphingolipid metabolism in the liver affect the level of docosahexaenoic acid-containing GPLs. Our method analyzes GPLs and DAG, as well as sphingolipids within biological samples and, thus, will facilitate more comprehensive studies of sphingolipid metabolism in pathology and diagnostics.
Metabolites2014, 4(1), 71-97; doi:10.3390/metabo4010071 - published online 27 January 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: For a long time, sample preparation was unrecognized as a critical issue in the analytical methodology, thus limiting the performance that could be achieved. However, the improvement of microextraction techniques, particularly microextraction by packed sorbent (MEPS) and solid-phase microextraction (SPME), completely modified this scenario by introducing unprecedented control over this process. Urine is a biological fluid that is very interesting for metabolomics studies, allowing human health and disease characterization in a minimally invasive form. In this manuscript, we will critically review the most relevant and promising works in this field, highlighting how the metabolomic profiling of urine can be an extremely valuable tool for the early diagnosis of highly prevalent diseases, such as cardiovascular, oncologic and neurodegenerative ones.
Metabolites2014, 4(1), 53-70; doi:10.3390/metabo4010053 - published online 7 January 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The metabolism of 2-13C/15N-glycine and U-13C-glucose was determined in four tissue blocks (adductor muscle, stomach and digestive gland, mantle, and gills) of the Eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) using proton (1H) and carbon-13 (13C) nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The oysters were treated in aerated seawater with three treatments (5.5 mM U-13C-glucose, 2.7 mM 2-13C/15N-glycine, and 5.5 mM U-13C-glucose plus 2.7 mM 2-13C/15N-glycine) and the relative mass balance and 13C fractional enrichments were determined in the four tissue blocks. In all tissues, glycine was metabolized by the glycine cycle forming serine exclusively in the mitochondria by the glycine cleavage system forming 2,3-13C-serine. In muscle, a minor amount of serine-derived pyruvate entered the Krebs cycle as substantiated by detection of a trace of 2,3-13C-aspartate. In all tissues, U-13C-glucose formed glycogen by glycogen synthesis, alanine by glycolysis, and glutamate and aspartate through the Krebs cycle. Alanine was formed exclusively from glucose via alanine transaminase and not glycine via alanine-glyoxylate transaminase. Based on isotopomer analysis, pyruvate carboxylase and pyruvate dehydrogenase appeared to be equal points for pyruvate entry into the Krebs cycle. In the 5.5 mM U-13C-glucose plus 2.7 mM 2-13C/15N-glycine emergence treatment used to simulate 12 h of “low tide”, oysters accumulated more 13C-labeled metabolites, including both anaerobic glycolytic and aerobic Krebs cycle intermediates. The aerobic metabolites could be the biochemical result of the gaping behavior of mollusks during emergence. The change in tissue distribution and mass balance of 13C-labeled nutrients (U-13C-glucose and 2-13C/15N-glycine) provides the basis for a new quantitative fluxomic method for elucidating sub-lethal environmental effects in marine organisms called whole body mass balance phenotyping (WoMBaP).