Metabolomics in Neuroscience Research

Metabolomics comprehensively characterizes small polar and lipid metabolites, yielding a snapshot of physiological processes that vary according to the pathological state of the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. Therefore, the use of metabolomics can help to reveal specific metabolic changes, for example, alterations in the central carbon metabolism and signal transmissions, in the brain and in biofluids such as CSF and plasma. This will provide more insights on the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative (multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, etc.) and neuro-psychiatric diseases (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, etc.), thus uncovering potential diagnostics and biomarkers, both prior to onset and during disease progression.

Metabolomics brings us closer to the phenotype of an individual, providing a direct readout of metabolic changes that occur in the brain and biofluids.

HMT’s metabolomics

HMT’s metabolome analysis employs CE-MS & LC-MS platforms. Our technologies are optimized to capture signaling metabolites, polyamines, energy metabolism in many types of samples, from brain and nervous tissues, biofluids, retina, to neuronal cells.

Quantitation Quantitation
Over 100 polar metabolites, many of which are involved in neuronal signaling, can be quantified with single- or multi-point calibration.
High resolution High resolution
Good separation of structural isomers, e.g. isobaric fatty acids, oxidative products.
hmt's metabolism_neuroscience

Examples of samples that can be analyzed at HMT

Biofluids (plasma, serum, CSF, etc.)

  • discovery of biomarkers & diagnostic markers relating to brain diseases
  • monitor disease progression &/or drug response
Neurons, glial cells

  • examine aberrant energy metabolism in diseased cells
  • region-specific brain profiling e.g. predominantly glycolytic astrocytes vs oxidative neurons
Brain tissue (from biopsies, post-mortem, animal models)

  • characterize signatures of brain diseases in humans
  • determine neurochemical changes in genetically modified animal models
  • decipher drug responses & mechanisms for the treatment of brain diseases

Recent publications

1. Photoperiodic changes in hippocampal neurogenesis and plasma metabolomic profiles in relation to depression-like behavior in mice.
Taniguchi et al. Behav Brain Res. 2021. 403:113136
2. Metabolomic analysis and mass spectrometry imaging after neonatal stroke and cell therapies in mouse brains.
Tanaka et al. Sci Rep. 2020. 10(1): 21881
3. Dysregulation of multiple metabolic networks related to brain transmethylation and polyamine pathways in Alzheimer Disease: A targeted metabolomic and transcriptomic study.
Mahajan et al. PLoS Med. 2020. 17(1): e1003012
4. Seasonal changes in NRF2 antioxidant pathway regulates winter depression-like behavior.
Nakayama et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020. 117(17):9594-9603
5. DNMT1 mutations leading to neurodegeneration paradoxically reflect on mitochondrial metabolism.
Maresca et al. 2020. Hum Mol Genet. 2020 Jul 21;29(11):1864-1881.
6. Comprehensive metabolomic analysis of IDH1 R132H clinical glioma samples reveals suppression of β-oxidation due to carnitine deficiency.
Miyata et al. Sci Rep. 2019. 9(1): 9787
7. A metabolic profile of polyamines in Parkinson disease: A promising biomarker.
Saiki et al. 2019. Ann Neurol. 2019. 86(2):251-263
8. Plasma metabolome analysis of patients with major depressive disorder.
Kawamura et al. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2018. 72(5): 349-361
9. Decreased long-chain acylcarnitines from insufficient β-oxidation as potential early diagnostic markers for Parkinson's Disease.
Saiki et al. Sci Rep. 2017. 7(1): 7328
10. Metabolic profile alterations in the postmortem brains of patients with schizophrenia using capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry.
Fujii et al. Schizophr Res. 2017. 183: 70-74


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