The identification of endogenous metabolites has great potential for understanding the underlying tissue processes occurring in either a homeostatic or a diseased state. The application of gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS)-based metabolomics on musculoskeletal tissue samples has gained traction. However, limited comparison studies exist evaluating the sensitivity, reproducibility, and robustness of the various existing extraction protocols for musculoskeletal tissues. Here, we evaluated polar metabolite extraction from bone and muscle of mouse origin. The extraction methods compared were (1) modified Bligh-Dyer (mBD), (2) low chloroform (CHCl3)-modified Bligh-Dyer (mBD-low), and (3) modified Matyash (mMat). In particular, the central carbon metabolites (CCM) appear to be relevant for musculoskeletal regeneration, given their role in energy metabolism. However, the sensitivity, reproducibility, and robustness of these methods for detecting targeted polar CCM remains unknown. Overall, the extraction of metabolites using the mBD, mBD-low, and mMat methods appears sufficiently robust and reproducible for bone, with the mBD method slightly bettering the mBD-low and mMat methods. Furthermore, mBD, mBD-low, and mMat were sufficiently sensitive in detecting polar metabolites extracted from mouse muscle; however, they lacked repeatability. This study highlights the need for a re-thinking, towards a tissue-specific optimization of methods for metabolite extractions, ensuring sufficient sensitivity, repeatability, and robustness.
Keywords: GC-MS; bone; central carbon metabolism; metabolites; metabolomics; muscle.