Special Issue "Metabolic Strategies in Hypoxia"

A special issue of Metabolites (ISSN 2218-1989).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Matthew Pamenter
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Interests: hypoxia; ischemia; comparative neurophysiology; metabolism; thermoregulation
Prof. Dr. Ken Storey
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Canada Research Chair in Molecular Physiology, Department of Biology and Department of Chemistry Carleton University, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada
Interests: metabolic rate depression; anoxia tolerance; enzyme regulation; microRNA; epigenetics; freeze tolerance; estivation; hibernation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hypoxia-tolerant organisms are adapted to thrive in challenging low-oxygen environments. These species commonly employ a combination of metabolic strategies to achieve this feat, including metabolic rate suppression, targeted switching of metabolic fuel substrate use, mobilization of metabolites, and/or elegant adaptations that either buffer or permit the accumulation of otherwise deleterious metabolic end products. This suite of metabolic adaptations is critical to both short- and long-term survival in hypoxic environments, and this Special Issue of Metabolites, entitled “Metabolic Strategies in Hypoxia”, will explore recent advances in our understanding of adaptive metabolic strategies, and of the underlying signaling pathways that mediate and coordinate these responses. Specific areas of interest include but are not limited to mechanisms underlying metabolic rate suppression, fuel switching, or other metabolic adaptations to hypoxia, regulation, and integration of these responses within the peripheral and central nervous systems, and in a systemic context, and exploration of the evolutionary origins of mechanisms of hypoxia tolerance.

Dr. Matthew Pamenter
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Metabolites is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Metabolic rate suppression
  • Alternative end products
  • Alternative metabolic substrates
  • Torpor
  • Energetic trade-offs (e.g., thermogenesis vs. metabolic rate suppression)
  • Oxygen conformer
  • Comparative physiology

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Glutamine Homeostasis and Its Role in the Adaptive Strategies of the Blind Mole Rat, Spalax
Metabolites 2021, 11(11), 755; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11110755 - 31 Oct 2021
Viewed by 633
Abstract
Oxidative metabolism is fine-tuned machinery that combines two tightly coupled fluxes of glucose and glutamine-derived carbons. Hypoxia interrupts the coordination between the metabolism of these two nutrients and leads to a decrease of the system efficacy and may eventually cause cell death. The [...] Read more.
Oxidative metabolism is fine-tuned machinery that combines two tightly coupled fluxes of glucose and glutamine-derived carbons. Hypoxia interrupts the coordination between the metabolism of these two nutrients and leads to a decrease of the system efficacy and may eventually cause cell death. The subterranean blind mole rat, Spalax, is an underexplored, underground, hypoxia-tolerant mammalian group which spends its life under sharply fluctuating oxygen levels. Primary Spalax cells are an exceptional model to study the metabolic strategies that have evolved in mammals inhabiting low-oxygen niches. In this study we explored the metabolic frame of glutamine (Gln) homeostasis in Spalax skin cells under normoxic and hypoxic conditions and their impacts on the metabolism of rat cells. Targeted metabolomics employing liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC-MS) was used to track the fate of heavy glutamine carbons (13C5 Gln) after 24 h under normoxia or hypoxia (1% O2). Our results indicated that large amounts of glutamine-originated carbons were detected as proline (Pro) and hydroxyproline (HPro) in normoxic Spalax cells with a further increase under hypoxia, suggesting a strategy for reduced Gln carbons storage in proteins. The intensity of the flux and the presence of HPro suggests collagen as a candidate protein that is most abundant in animals, and as the primary source of HPro. An increased conversion of αKG to 2 HG that was indicated in hypoxic Spalax cells prevents the degradation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) and, consequently, maintains cytosolic and mitochondrial carbons fluxes that were uncoupled via inhibition of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. A strong antioxidant defense in Spalax cells can be attributed, at least in part, to the massive usage of glutamine-derived glutamate for glutathione (GSH) production. The present study uncovers additional strategies that have evolved in this unique mammal to support its hypoxia tolerance, and probably contribute to its cancer resistance, longevity, and healthy aging. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Strategies in Hypoxia)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Increased Reliance on Carbohydrates for Aerobic Exercise in Highland Andean Leaf-Eared Mice, but Not in Highland Lima Leaf-Eared Mice
Metabolites 2021, 11(11), 750; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11110750 - 29 Oct 2021
Viewed by 581
Abstract
Exercise is an important performance trait in mammals and variation in aerobic capacity and/or substrate allocation during submaximal exercise may be important for survival at high altitude. Comparisons between lowland and highland populations is a fruitful approach to understanding the mechanisms for altitude [...] Read more.
Exercise is an important performance trait in mammals and variation in aerobic capacity and/or substrate allocation during submaximal exercise may be important for survival at high altitude. Comparisons between lowland and highland populations is a fruitful approach to understanding the mechanisms for altitude differences in exercise performance. However, it has only been applied in very few highland species. The leaf-eared mice (LEM, genus Phyllotis) of South America are a promising taxon to uncover the pervasiveness of hypoxia tolerance mechanisms. Here we use lowland and highland populations of Andean and Lima LEM (P. andium and P. limatus), acclimated to common laboratory conditions, to determine exercise-induced maximal oxygen consumption (V˙O2max), and submaximal exercise metabolism. Lowland and highland populations of both species showed no difference in V˙O2max running in either normoxia or hypoxia. When run at 75% of V˙O2max, highland Andean LEM had a greater reliance on carbohydrate oxidation to power exercise. In contrast, highland Lima LEM showed no difference in exercise fuel use compared to their lowland counterparts. The higher carbohydrate oxidation seen in highland Andean LEM was not explained by maximal activities of glycolytic enzymes in the gastrocnemius muscle, which were equivalent to lowlanders. This result is consistent with data on highland deer mouse populations and suggests changes in metabolic regulation may explain altitude differences in exercise performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Strategies in Hypoxia)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Comprehensive Analysis of 13C6 Glucose Fate in the Hypoxia-Tolerant Blind Mole Rat Skin Fibroblasts
Metabolites 2021, 11(11), 734; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11110734 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 672
Abstract
The bioenergetics of the vast majority of terrestrial mammals evolved to consuming glucose (Glc) for energy production under regular atmosphere (about 21% oxygen). However, some vertebrate species, such as aquatic turtles, seals, naked mole rat, and blind mole rat, Spalax, have adjusted [...] Read more.
The bioenergetics of the vast majority of terrestrial mammals evolved to consuming glucose (Glc) for energy production under regular atmosphere (about 21% oxygen). However, some vertebrate species, such as aquatic turtles, seals, naked mole rat, and blind mole rat, Spalax, have adjusted their homeostasis to continuous function under severe hypoxic environment. The exploration of hypoxia-tolerant species metabolic strategies provides a better understanding of the adaptation to hypoxia. In this study, we compared Glc homeostasis in primary Spalax and rat skin cells under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. We used the targeted-metabolomics approach, utilizing liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry (LC-MS) to track the fate of heavy Glc carbons (13C6 Glc), as well as other methodologies to assist the interpretation of the metabolic landscape, such as bioenergetics profiling, Western blotting, and gene expression analysis. The metabolic profile was recorded under steady-state (after 24 h) of the experiment. Glc-originated carbons were unequally distributed between the cytosolic and mitochondrial domains in Spalax cells compared to the rat. The cytosolic domain is dominant apparently due to the hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) mastering, since its level is higher under normoxia and hypoxia in Spalax cells. Consumed Glc in Spalax cells is utilized for the pentose phosphate pathway maintaining the NADPH pool, and is finally harbored as glutathione (GSH) and UDP-GlcNAc. The cytosolic domain in Spalax cells works in the semi-uncoupled mode that limits the consumed Glc-derived carbons flux to the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and reduces pyruvate delivery; however, it maintains the NAD+ pool via lactate dehydrogenase upregulation. Both normoxic and hypoxic mitochondrial homeostasis of Glc-originated carbons in Spalax are characterized by their massive cataplerotic flux along with the axis αKG→Glu→Pro→hydroxyproline (HPro). The product of collagen degradation, HPro, as well as free Pro are apparently involved in the bioenergetics of Spalax under both normoxia and hypoxia. The upregulation of 2-hydroxyglutarate production detected in Spalax cells may be involved in modulating the levels of HIF-1α. Collectively, these data suggest that Spalax cells utilize similar metabolic frame for both normoxia and hypoxia, where glucose metabolism is switched from oxidative pathways (conversion of pyruvate to Acetyl-CoA and further TCA cycle processes) to (i) pentose phosphate pathway, (ii) lactate production, and (iii) cataplerotic pathways leading to hexosamine, GSH, and HPro production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Strategies in Hypoxia)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Differential Responses of Methionine Sulfoxide Reductases A and B to Anoxia and Oxidative Stress in the Freshwater Turtle Trachemys scripta
Metabolites 2021, 11(7), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11070458 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 865
Abstract
Oxidative stress has been acknowledged as a major factor in aging, senescence and neurodegenerative conditions. Mammalian models are susceptible to these stresses following the restoration of oxygen after anoxia; however, some organisms including the freshwater turtle Trachemys scripta can withstand repeated anoxia and [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress has been acknowledged as a major factor in aging, senescence and neurodegenerative conditions. Mammalian models are susceptible to these stresses following the restoration of oxygen after anoxia; however, some organisms including the freshwater turtle Trachemys scripta can withstand repeated anoxia and reoxygenation without apparent pathology. T. scripta thus provides us with an alternate vertebrate model to investigate physiological mechanisms of neuroprotection. The objective of this study was to investigate the antioxidant methionine sulfoxide reductase system (Msr) in turtle neuronal tissue. We examined brain transcript and protein levels of MsrA and MsrB and examined the potential for the transcription factor FOXO3a to regulate the oxygen-responsive changes in Msr in vitro. We found that Msr mRNA and protein levels are differentially upregulated during anoxia and reoxygenation, and when cells were exposed to chemical oxidative stress. However, while MsrA and MsrB3 levels increased when cell cultures were exposed to chemical oxidative stress, this induction was not enhanced by treatment with epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has previously been shown to enhance FOXO3a levels in the turtle. These results suggest that FOXO3a and Msr protect the cells from oxidative stress through different molecular pathways, and that both the Msr pathway and EGCG may be therapeutic targets to treat diseases related to oxidative damage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Strategies in Hypoxia)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
The Metabolomic Response of Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius) to Anoxia and Reoxygenation Differs between Tissues and Hints at Uncharacterized Survival Strategies
Metabolites 2021, 11(7), 435; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11070435 - 01 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1206
Abstract
The anoxia-tolerant crucian carp (Carassius carassius) has been studied in detail for numerous years, with particular focus on unravelling the underlying physiological mechanisms of anoxia tolerance. However, relatively little work has been focused on what occurs beyond anoxia, and often the [...] Read more.
The anoxia-tolerant crucian carp (Carassius carassius) has been studied in detail for numerous years, with particular focus on unravelling the underlying physiological mechanisms of anoxia tolerance. However, relatively little work has been focused on what occurs beyond anoxia, and often the focus is a single organ or tissue type. In this study, we quantified more than 100 metabolites by capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry (CE-MS) in brain, heart, liver, and blood plasma from four experimental groups, being normoxic (control) fish, anoxia-exposed fish, and two groups that had been exposed to anoxia followed by reoxygenation for either 3 h or 24 h. The heart, which maintains cardiac output during anoxia, unexpectedly, was slower to recover compared to the brain and liver, mainly due to a slower return to control concentrations of the energy-carrying compounds ATP, GTP, and phosphocreatine. Crucian carp accumulated amino acids in most tissues, and also surprisingly high levels of succinate in all tissues investigated during anoxia. Purine catabolism was enhanced, leading to accumulation of uric acid during anoxia and increasing urea formation that continued into 24 h of reoxygenation. These tissue-specific differences in accumulation and distribution of the metabolites may indicate an intricate system of transport between tissues, opening for new avenues of investigation of possible mechanisms aimed at reducing the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and resultant tissue damage during reoxygenation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Strategies in Hypoxia)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Review
Cytoskeletal Arrest: An Anoxia Tolerance Mechanism
Metabolites 2021, 11(8), 561; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11080561 - 23 Aug 2021
Viewed by 836
Abstract
Polymerization of actin filaments and microtubules constitutes a ubiquitous demand for cellular adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP) and guanosine-5′-triphosphate (GTP). In anoxia-tolerant animals, ATP consumption is minimized during overwintering conditions, but little is known about the role of cell structure in anoxia tolerance. Studies of overwintering [...] Read more.
Polymerization of actin filaments and microtubules constitutes a ubiquitous demand for cellular adenosine-5′-triphosphate (ATP) and guanosine-5′-triphosphate (GTP). In anoxia-tolerant animals, ATP consumption is minimized during overwintering conditions, but little is known about the role of cell structure in anoxia tolerance. Studies of overwintering mammals have revealed that microtubule stability in neurites is reduced at low temperature, resulting in withdrawal of neurites and reduced abundance of excitatory synapses. Literature for turtles is consistent with a similar downregulation of peripheral cytoskeletal activity in brain and liver during anoxic overwintering. Downregulation of actin dynamics, as well as modification to microtubule organization, may play vital roles in facilitating anoxia tolerance. Mitochondrial calcium release occurs during anoxia in turtle neurons, and subsequent activation of calcium-binding proteins likely regulates cytoskeletal stability. Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation can lead to catastrophic cytoskeletal damage during overwintering and ROS production can be regulated by the dynamics of mitochondrial interconnectivity. Therefore, suppression of ROS formation is likely an important aspect of cytoskeletal arrest. Furthermore, gasotransmitters can regulate ROS levels, as well as cytoskeletal contractility and rearrangement. In this review we will explore the energetic costs of cytoskeletal activity, the cellular mechanisms regulating it, and the potential for cytoskeletal arrest being an important mechanism permitting long-term anoxia survival in anoxia-tolerant species, such as the western painted turtle and goldfish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Strategies in Hypoxia)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review
Hypometabolic Responses to Chronic Hypoxia: A Potential Role for Membrane Lipids
Metabolites 2021, 11(8), 503; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11080503 - 31 Jul 2021
Viewed by 930
Abstract
Metabolic suppression is an essential strategy to cope with chronic hypoxia. This review examines the physiological processes used to survive in low oxygen environments. It proposes a novel mechanism–the remodeling of membrane lipids–to suppress ATP use and production. Temperature (homeoviscous adaptation), diet [...] Read more.
Metabolic suppression is an essential strategy to cope with chronic hypoxia. This review examines the physiological processes used to survive in low oxygen environments. It proposes a novel mechanism–the remodeling of membrane lipids–to suppress ATP use and production. Temperature (homeoviscous adaptation), diet (natural doping in migrant birds) and body mass (membrane pacemaker of metabolism) have an impact on the lipid composition of membranes, which, in turn, modulates metabolic capacity. Vertebrate champions of hypoxia tolerance show extensive changes in membrane lipids upon in vivo exposure to low oxygen. These changes and those observed in hibernating mammals can promote the downregulation of ion pumps (major ATP consumers), ion channels, mitochondrial respiration capacity (state 3, proton leak, cytochrome c oxidase), and energy metabolism (β-oxidation and glycolysis). A common membrane signal regulating the joint inhibition of ion pumps and channels could be an exquisite way to preserve the balance between ATP supply and demand in hypometabolic states. Membrane remodeling together with more traditional mechanisms could work in concert to cause metabolic suppression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Strategies in Hypoxia)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Hypoxia Performance Curve: Assess a Whole-Organism Metabolic Shift from a Maximum Aerobic Capacity towards a Glycolytic Capacity in Fish
Metabolites 2021, 11(7), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo11070447 - 08 Jul 2021
Viewed by 994
Abstract
The utility of measuring whole-animal performance to frame the metabolic response to environmental hypoxia is well established. Progressively reducing ambient oxygen (O2) will initially limit maximum metabolic rate as a result of a hypoxemic state and ultimately lead to a time-limited, [...] Read more.
The utility of measuring whole-animal performance to frame the metabolic response to environmental hypoxia is well established. Progressively reducing ambient oxygen (O2) will initially limit maximum metabolic rate as a result of a hypoxemic state and ultimately lead to a time-limited, tolerance state supported by substrate-level phosphorylation when the O2 supply can no longer meet basic needs (standard metabolic rate, SMR). The metabolic consequences of declining ambient O2 were conceptually framed for fishes initially by Fry’s hypoxic performance curve, which characterizes the hypoxemic state and its consequences to absolute aerobic scope (AAS), and Hochachka’s concept of scope for hypoxic survival, which characterizes time-limited life when SMR cannot be supported by O2 supply. Yet, despite these two conceptual frameworks, the toolbox to assess whole-animal metabolic performance remains rather limited. Here, we briefly review the ongoing debate concerning the need to standardize the most commonly used assessments of respiratory performance in hypoxic fishes, namely critical O2 (the ambient O2 level below which maintenance metabolism cannot be sustained) and the incipient lethal O2 (the ambient O2 level at which a fish loses the ability to maintain upright equilibrium), and then we advance the idea that the most useful addition to the toolbox will be the limiting-O2 concentration (LOC) performance curve. Using Fry & Hart’s (1948) hypoxia performance curve concept, an LOC curve was subsequently developed as an eco-physiological framework by Neil et al. and derived for a group of fish during a progressive hypoxia trial by Claireaux and Lagardère (1999). In the present review, we show how only minor modifications to available respirometry tools and techniques are needed to generate an LOC curve for individual fish. This individual approach to the LOC curve determination then increases its statistical robustness and importantly opens up the possibility of examining individual variability. Moreover, if peak aerobic performance at a given ambient O2 level of each individual is expressed as a percentage of its AAS, the water dissolved O2 that supports 50% of the individual’s AAS (DOAAS-50) can be interpolated much like the P50 for an O2 hemoglobin dissociation curve (when hemoglobin is 50% saturated with O2). Thus, critical O2, incipient lethal O2, DOAAS-50 and P50 and can be directly compared within and across species. While an LOC curve for individual fish represents a start to an ongoing need to seamlessly integrate aerobic to anaerobic capacity assessments in a single, multiplexed respirometry trial, we close with a comparative exploration of some of the known whole-organism anaerobic and aerobic capacity traits to examine for correlations among them and guide the next steps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Strategies in Hypoxia)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop