Matheus N, Hansen S, Rozet E, Peixoto P, Maquoi E, Lambert V, Noël A, Frédérich M, Mottet D, de Tullio P
INTRODUCTION: As a complement to the classic metabolomics biofluid studies, the visualisation of the metabolites contained in cells or tissues could be a very powerful tool to understand how the local metabolism and biochemical pathways could be affected by external or internal stimuli or pathologies. Therefore, extraction and/or lysis is necessary to obtain samples adapted for use with the current analytical tools (liquid NMR and MS). These extraction or lysis work-ups are often the most labour-intensive and rate-limiting steps in metabolomics, as they require accuracy and repeatability as well as robustness. Many of the procedures described in the literature appear to be very time-consuming and not easily amenable to automation. OBJECTIVE: To find a fast, simplified procedure that allows release of the metabolites from cells and tissues in a way that is compatible with NMR analysis. METHODS: We assessed the use of sonication to disrupt cell membranes or tissue structures. Both a vibrating probe and an automated bath sonicator were explored. RESULTS: The application of sonication as the disruption procedure led to reproducible NMR spectral data compatible with metabolomics studies. This method requires only a small biological tissue or cell sample, and a rapid, reduced work-up was applied before analysis. The spectral patterns obtained are comparable with previous, well-described extraction protocols. CONCLUSION: The rapidity and the simplicity of this approach could represent a suitable alternative to the other protocols. Additionally, this approach could be favourable for high- throughput applications in intracellular and intratissular metabolite measurements. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.