• Biochemistry of proinflammatory macrophage activation.

      Nonnenmacher, Yannic; Hiller, Karsten; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-03-03)
      In the last decade, metabolism has been recognized as a major determinant of immunological processes. During an inflammatory response, macrophages undergo striking changes in their metabolism. This metabolic reprogramming is governed by a complex interplay between metabolic enzymes and metabolites of different pathways and represents the basis for proper macrophage function. It is now evident that these changes go far beyond the well-known Warburg effect and the perturbation of metabolic targets is being investigated as a means to treat infections and auto-immune diseases. In the present review, we will aim to provide an overview of the metabolic responses during proinflammatory macrophage activation and show how these changes modulate the immune response.
    • Erythritol is a pentose-phosphate pathway metabolite and associated with adiposity gain in young adults.

      Hootman, Katie C; Trezzi, Jean-Pierre; Kraemer, Lisa; Burwell, Lindsay S; Dong, Xiangyi; Guertin, Kristin A; Jaeger, Christian; Stover, Patrick J; Hiller, Karsten; Cassano, Patricia A; et al. (2017-05-23)
      Metabolomic markers associated with incident central adiposity gain were investigated in young adults. In a 9-mo prospective study of university freshmen (n = 264). Blood samples and anthropometry measurements were collected in the first 3 d on campus and at the end of the year. Plasma from individuals was pooled by phenotype [incident central adiposity, stable adiposity, baseline hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) > 5.05%, HbA1c < 4.92%] and assayed using GC-MS, chromatograms were analyzed using MetaboliteDetector software, and normalized metabolite levels were compared using Welch's t test. Assays were repeated using freshly prepared pools, and statistically significant metabolites were quantified in a targeted GC-MS approach. Isotope tracer studies were performed to determine if the potential marker was an endogenous human metabolite in men and in whole blood. Participants with incident central adiposity gain had statistically significantly higher blood erythritol [P < 0.001, false discovery rate (FDR) = 0.0435], and the targeted assay revealed 15-fold [95% confidence interval (CI): 13.27, 16.25] higher blood erythritol compared with participants with stable adiposity. Participants with baseline HbA1c > 5.05% had 21-fold (95% CI: 19.84, 21.41) higher blood erythritol compared with participants with lower HbA1c (P < 0.001, FDR = 0.00016). Erythritol was shown to be synthesized endogenously from glucose via the pentose-phosphate pathway (PPP) in stable isotope-assisted ex vivo blood incubation experiments and through in vivo conversion of erythritol to erythronate in stable isotope-assisted dried blood spot experiments. Therefore, endogenous production of erythritol from glucose may contribute to the association between erythritol and obesity observed in young adults.
    • Metabolic profiling of body fluids and multivariate data analysis.

      Trezzi, Jean-Pierre; Jäger, Christian; Galozzi, Sara; Barkovits, Katalin; Marcus, Katrin; Mollenhauer, Brit; Hiller, Karsten; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2017)
      Metabolome analyses of body fluids are challenging due pre-analytical variations, such as pre-processing delay and temperature, and constant dynamical changes of biochemical processes within the samples. Therefore, proper sample handling starting from the time of collection up to the analysis is crucial to obtain high quality samples and reproducible results. A metabolomics analysis is divided into 4 main steps: 1) Sample collection, 2) Metabolite extraction, 3) Data acquisition and 4) Data analysis. Here, we describe a protocol for gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) based metabolic analysis for biological matrices, especially body fluids. This protocol can be applied on blood serum/plasma, saliva and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples of humans and other vertebrates. It covers sample collection, sample pre-processing, metabolite extraction, GC-MS measurement and guidelines for the subsequent data analysis. Advantages of this protocol include: •Robust and reproducible metabolomics results, taking into account pre-analytical variations that may occur during the sampling process•Small sample volume required•Rapid and cost-effective processing of biological samples•Logistic regression based determination of biomarker signatures for in-depth data analysis.
    • Quantification of Stable Isotope Traces Close to Natural Enrichment in Human Plasma Metabolites Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry.

      Krämer, Lisa; Jäger, Christian; Trezzi, Jean-Pierre; Jacobs, Doris M; Hiller, Karsten; Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2018-02-14)
      Currently, changes in metabolic fluxes following consumption of stable isotope-enriched foods are usually limited to the analysis of postprandial kinetics of glucose. Kinetic information on a larger diversity of metabolites is often lacking, mainly due to the marginal percentage of fully isotopically enriched plant material in the administered food product, and hence, an even weaker13C enrichment in downstream plasma metabolites. Therefore, we developed an analytical workflow to determine weak13C enrichments of diverse plasma metabolites with conventional gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The limit of quantification was increased by optimizing (1) the metabolite extraction from plasma, (2) the GC-MS measurement, and (3) most importantly, the computational data processing. We applied our workflow to study the catabolic dynamics of13C-enriched wheat bread in three human subjects. For that purpose, we collected time-resolved human plasma samples at 16 timepoints after the consumption of13C-labeled bread and quantified13C enrichment of 12 metabolites (glucose, lactate, alanine, glycine, serine, citrate, glutamate, glutamine, valine, isoleucine, tyrosine, and threonine). Based on isotopomer specific analysis, we were able to distinguish catabolic profiles of starch and protein hydrolysis. More generally, our study highlights that conventional GC-MS equipment is sufficient to detect isotope traces below 1% if an appropriate data processing is integrated.