High-coverage quantitative liver metabolomics using perfused and non-perfused liver tissues

Anal Chim Acta. 2021 Apr 8:1153:338300. doi: 10.1016/j.aca.2021.338300. Epub 2021 Feb 8.


Comprehensive analysis of the liver metabolome can be very useful for discovering disease biomarkers and studying diseases, especially liver-related diseases. However, the presence of a relatively large amount of blood in liver tissue may have a profound effect on liver tissue metabolome analysis. We designed a study to address this issue in order to develop a liver metabolomics workflow based on high-coverage quantitative metabolome analysis using differential chemical isotope labeling (CIL) LC-MS. In the first set of experiments, we compared the metabolomes of mouse serum, non-perfused liver, and perfused liver without and with varying amounts of blood added. We found that there was a significant metabolome difference between the perfused liver and non-perfused liver. To illustrate the effects of perfusion conditions on tissue metabolome analysis, we analyzed the mouse livers that were subjected to perfusion under two different conditions. We found that ice-cold temperature perfusion led to less change of the liver metabolome, compared to room temperature perfusion; however, there was still a significant metabolome difference between the ice-cold-perfused liver and the non-perfused liver. Finally, we applied the method to a chemical (carbon tetrachloride) exposure liver injury model to examine the effects of blood in liver on the detection of significantly changed metabolites in two comparative groups of mice. Using multivariate and univariate analyses of the serum and liver metabolomes of control and diseased mice, we detected many unique significant metabolites in serum as well as in liver. This work demonstrates that perfusion can alter the liver metabolome significantly. Therefore, we recommend the use of non-perfused liver for high-coverage liver metabolomics.

Keywords: Isotope labeling; LC-MS; Liver; Metabolomics; Tissue.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Isotope Labeling
  • Liver
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Metabolome*
  • Metabolomics*
  • Mice