American Chemical Society
ac1c02221_si_001.pdf (5 MB)

In Vitro Spatio-Temporal NMR Metabolomics of Living 3D Cell Models

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-09-03, 23:43 authored by Robert Knitsch, Mohammad AlWahsh, Hannes Raschke, Jörg Lambert, Roland Hergenröder
Three-dimensional cell cultures are of growing importance in biochemical research as they represent tissue features more accurately than standard two-dimensional systems, but to investigate these challenging new models an adaptation of established analytical techniques is required. Spatially resolved data for living organoids are needed to gain insight into transport processes and biochemical characteristics of domains with different nutrient supply and waste product removal. Within this work, we present an NMR-based approach to obtain dynamically radial metabolite profiles for cell spheroids, one of the most frequently used 3D models. Our approach combines an easy to reproduce custom-made measurement design, maintaining physiological conditions without inhibition of the NMR experiment, with spatially selective NMR pulse sequences. To overcome the inherently low sensitivity of NMR spectroscopy we excited slices instead of smaller cube-like voxels in combination with an efficient interleaved measurement approach and employed a commercially available cryogenic NMR probe. Finally, radial metabolite profiles could be obtained via double Abel inversion of the measured one-dimensional intensity profiles. Applying this method to Ty82 cancer cell spheroids demonstrates the achieved spatial resolution, for instance confirming exceedingly high lactic acid and strongly decreased glucose concentrations in the oxygen-depleted core of the spheroid. Furthermore, our approach can be employed to investigate fast and slow metabolic changes in single spheroids simultaneously, which is shown as an example of a spheroid degrading over several days after stopping the nutrient supply.