13C-NMR reveals glycerol as an unexpected major metabolite of the protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis

FEBS Lett. 1985 Oct 28;191(2):287-92. doi: 10.1016/0014-5793(85)80026-0.


13C-NMR has been used to study the kinetics of the formation of metabolites from [1-13C]glucose in intact cells of Trichomonas vaginalis during anaerobic incubation. As well as the expected metabolites lactate and acetate, this technique revealed glycerol as an additional major product, present in amounts equimolar with acetate. The formation of glycerol is readily explained in terms of the need to maintain redox balance. This protozoan now joins the small group of organisms which are known to produce glycerol as a result of normal metabolic activities.

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / metabolism
  • Acetic Acid
  • Anaerobiosis
  • Animals
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glycerol / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Lactates / metabolism
  • Lactic Acid
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Trichomonas vaginalis / metabolism*


  • Acetates
  • Lactates
  • Lactic Acid
  • Glucose
  • Glycerol
  • Acetic Acid