28 May 2021

HTS NMR Probe Tracks Metabolism Cycles During Insect Dormancy

The representative stacked spectra in each set are from metabolic stages of pupae during the dormancy period: A) interbout of metabolic arousal (IBA), B) early metabolic depression, and C) late metabolic depression. The representative stacked spectra in each set are from metabolic stages of pupae during the dormancy period: A) interbout of metabolic arousal (IBA), B) early metabolic depression, and C) late metabolic depression.

An insect's ability to survive anaerobic conditions (without oxygen) during winter pupation occurs through periodic cycling of aerobic respiration pathways needed to recharge energy and clear waste. The cellular mechanisms at play during these brief near-arousal periods can provide clues to help improve the success in storage and transplant of human organs.

What did the scientists discover?

NMR spectroscopy with isotopes can be used to observe changes in cell metabolism during organism dormancy and arousal, as found during insect pupation or mammal hibernation. Insects are models for human organ transplants stored under similar conditions of minimal metabolic activity. MagLab users observed the mitochondrial aerobic respiration that produces reactive oxygen species (ROS) which will decline during periods of metabolic suppression. When the ROS gets low, arousal is triggered.

THE TOOLS THEY USED

This research was conducted in the 14.1T equipped with a HTS CryoProbe and Agilent Console at the MagLab's AMRIS Facility located at the University of Florida.

Why is this important?

Pupae exist in a hypoxic state (or a state in which there is not enough oxygen to sustain functions) of burning glucose via glycolysis during metabolic suppression. They survive harsh environmental challenges by undergoing cyclical periods of near-arousal where they engage in aerobic respiration to recharge their energy states and clear waste products. MagLab users compared these isotopic product fluxes during the stages of arousal and depression, using 13C labels to study which products were cycled to shuttle fuel between tissues during the critical stage of metabolic arousal. Understanding the cellular mechanisms at play during these brief near-arousal periods can provide clues to help improve the success in storage and transplant of human organs.

Who did the research?

Chao Chen1, Rohit Mahar2, Matthew E. Merritt2, David L. Denlinger3, and Daniel A. Hahn1

1Department of Entomology and Nematology and 2Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Florida, 3Department of Entomology, Ohio State University, USA

Why did they need the MagLab?

The MagLab's AMRIS Facility houses a 14.1T NMR equipped with a MagLab-built HTS cryoprobe needed to detect 13C nuclei with very high mass sensitivity. The HTS NMR probe reduces the required sample size to a single pupa and thereby allows the full time course of metabolic arousal to be studied.

Details for scientists

Funding

This research was funded by the following grants: MagLab (G.S. Boebinger, NSF DMR-1644779); ME Merritt (NIH P41-122698); DA Hahn (NSF IOS 1257298 and DEB 1639005, and United Nations FAO/IAEA Coordinated Research in Dormancy Management)


For more information, contact Joanna Long.

Last modified on 7 June 2021