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Nat Protoc. 2010 Jun;5(6):1019-32. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2010.45. Epub 2010 May 13.

High-resolution magic-angle-spinning NMR spectroscopy for metabolic profiling of intact tissues.

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Biomolecular Medicine, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, South Kensington, London, UK.


Metabolic profiling, metabolomic and metabonomic studies require robust study protocols for any large-scale comparisons and evaluations. Detailed methods for solution-state NMR spectroscopy have been summarized in an earlier protocol. This protocol details the analysis of intact tissue samples by means of high-resolution magic-angle-spinning (HR-MAS) NMR spectroscopy and we provide a detailed description of sample collection, preparation and analysis. Described here are (1)H NMR spectroscopic techniques such as the standard one-dimensional, relaxation-edited, diffusion-edited and two-dimensional J-resolved pulse experiments, as well as one-dimensional (31)P NMR spectroscopy. These are used to monitor different groups of metabolites, e.g., sugars, amino acids and osmolytes as well as larger molecules such as lipids, non-invasively. Through the use of NMR-based diffusion coefficient and relaxation times measurements, information on molecular compartmentation and mobility can be gleaned. The NMR methods are often combined with statistical analysis for further metabonomics analysis and biomarker identification. The standard acquisition time per sample is 8-10 min for a simple one-dimensional (1)H NMR spectrum, giving access to metabolite information while retaining tissue integrity and hence allowing direct comparison with histopathology and MRI/MRS findings or the evaluation together with biofluid metabolic-profiling data.

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