How metabolism is rewired during embryonic development is still largely unknown, as it remains a major technical challenge to resolve metabolic activities or metabolite levels with spatiotemporal resolution. Here, we investigated metabolic changes during development of organogenesis-stage mouse embryos, focusing on the presomitic mesoderm (PSM). We measured glycolytic labeling kinetics from 13C-glucose tracing experiments and detected elevated glycolysis in the posterior, more undifferentiated PSM. We found evidence that the spatial metabolic differences are functionally relevant during PSM development. To enable real-time quantification of a glycolytic metabolite with spatiotemporal resolution, we generated a pyruvate FRET-sensor reporter mouse line. We revealed dynamic changes in cytosolic pyruvate levels as cells transit toward a more anterior PSM state. Combined, our approach identifies a gradient of glycolytic activity across the PSM, and we provide evidence that these spatiotemporal metabolic changes are intrinsically linked to PSM development and differentiation.
Keywords: aerobic glycolysis; mammalian embryonic development; metabolic gradients; metabolite sensor; presomitic mesoderm (PSM); real-time imaging; somites; stable isotope tracing.
Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.