Metabolomics can be performed either as an ‘open profiling’ tool where the aim is to measure, usually in a semi-quantitative manner, as many metabolites as possible or perform ‘closed’ or ‘targeted’ analyses where instead a pre-defined set of metabolites are measured. Targeted methods can be designed to be more sensitive and quantitative and so are particularly appropriate to systems biology for quantitative models of systems or when metabolomics is performed in a hypothesis driven manner to test whether a particular pathway is perturbed. We describe a targeted metabolomics assay that quantifies a broad range of over 130 metabolites relevant to cardiac metabolism including the pathways of the citric acid cycle, fatty acid oxidation, glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway, amino acid metabolism, the urea cycle, nucleotides and reactive oxygen species using tandem mass spectrometry to produce quantitative, sensitive and robust data. This assay is illustrated by profiling cardiac metabolism in a lamin A/C (Lmna) mouse model of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The model of DCM was characterised by increases in concentrations of proline and methyl-histidine suggestive of increased myofibrillar and collagen degradation, as well as decreases in a number of citric acid cycle intermediates and carnitine derivatives indicating reduced energy metabolism in the dilated heart. These assays could be used for any other cardiac or cardiovascular disease in that they cover central core metabolism and key pathways involved in cardiac metabolism, and may provide a general start for many mammalian systems.
West, J. A., Beqqali, A., Ament, Z., Elliott, P., Pinto, Y. M., Arbustini, E., & Griffin, J. L. (2016). A targeted metabolomics assay for cardiac metabolism and demonstration using a mouse model of dilated cardiomyopathy. Metabolomics, 12(3). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11306-016-0956-2