Tag Archives: metabolomics

NMR could improve the detection of “date rape” drug GHB

Direct Monitoring of Exogenous γ-Hydroxybutyric Acid in Body Fluids by NMR Spectroscopy” by M. Palomino-Schätzlein, Y. Wang, A. Brailsford, T. Parella, D. Cowan, C. Legido-Quigley, M. Pérez-Trujillo. Anal. Chem., 2017, 89 (16), pp 8343–8350. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.7b01567

γ-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) is a popular drug increasingly associated with cases of drug-facilitated sexual assault (DFSA). Currently, expanding procedures of analysis and having forensic evidence of GHB intake in a long term are mandatory. Up to now, most studies have been performed using GC/MS and LC-MS as analytical platforms, which involve significant manipulation of the sample and, often, indirect measurements. In this work, procedures used in NMR-based metabolomics were applied to a GHB clinical trial on urine and serum. Detection, identification, and briefly quantification of the drug by NMR methods were surveyed, as well as the use of NMR-based metabolomics for the search of potential surrogate biomarkers of GHB consumption. Results demonstrated the suitability of NMR spectroscopy, as a robust nondestructive technique, to fast and directly monitor exogenous GHB in almost intact body fluids and its high potential in the search for metabolites associated with GHB intake. This initial work show some strengths of  NMR spectroscopy and standard methods routinely used in the NMR analysis of biological samples to approach the problem. These features could open up new interesting possibilities in future studies, complementing current procedures.

This work in media:   spectroscopynow.com  phys.org  / sciencedaily.com  /  canadafreepress.com / forensicmag.com  / cbinsights.com

Metronomic treatment in immunocompetent preclinical glioblastoma

“Metronomic treatment in immunocompetent preclinical GL261 glioblastoma: effects of cyclophosphamide and temozolomide” by by L. Ferrer-Font,  N. Arias-Ramos, S. Lope-Piedrafita, M. Julià-Sapé , M. Pumarola, C. Arús  and A. P. Candiota. NMR Biomed. 2017. DOI: 10.1002/nbm.3748. 

Glioblastoma (GBM) causes poor survival in patients even when applying aggressive treatment. In preceding years, efforts have focused in new therapeutic regimens with conventional drugs to activate immune responses that may enhance tumor regression and prevent regrowth, as for example the “metronomic” approaches.

We have evaluated whether metronomic CPA or TMZ administration could increase survival in orthotopic GL261 in C57BL/6 mice, an immunocompetent model. Longitudinal in vivo studies with CPA (140 mg/Kg) or TMZ (range 140-240 mg/Kg) metronomic administration (every 6 days) were performed in tumor-bearing mice. Tumor evolution was monitored at 7T with T2-weighted MRI, Diffusion weighted imaging and MRSI-based nosological images of response to therapy. Obtained results demonstrated that both treatments resulted in increased survival (38.6+21.0 days, n=30) compared to control (19.4+2.4 days, n=18). Also, it was found a clear edema appearance during chemotherapeutic treatment suggesting inflammatory associated processes. The necropsy performed in mice cured from GBM after high TMZ cumulative dosage (980-1400 mg/Kg) revealed lymphoma incidence.

Multi-Slice MRSI Analysis of Therapy Response in Preclinical Glioblastoma

Metabolomics of Therapy Response in Preclinical Glioblastoma: A Multi-Slice MRSI-Based Volumetric Analysis for Noninvasive Assessment of Temozolomide Treatment” by N. Arias-Ramos, L. Ferrer-Font,  S. Lope-Piedrafita,  V. Mocioiu, M. Julià-Sapé , M. Pumarola, C. Arús  and A. P. Candiota. Metabolites, 2017, 18;7(2). pii: E20. DOI: 10.3390/metabo7020020.

Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and aggressive glial primary tumor with a survival average of 14-15 months, even after application of standard treatment. Non-invasive surrogate biomarkers of therapy response may be relevant for improving patient survival. Nosological images of therapy response using a semi-supervised source extraction approach in preclinical GBM based on single slice Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging (MRSI) was previously describe by our group. However, because of GBM heterogeneity, relevant response information could be missed just by studying one slice. Therefore, the goal of this work was to acquire 3D-like information from preclinical GBM under a longitudinal treatment protocol, using a multi-slice MRSI approach.

Nosological maps were obtained based on semi-supervised convex Non-negative Matrix Factorization and each voxel was colored according to the contribution to the spectral pattern of each one of the three sources or characteristic spectral patterns: Normal brain, actively proliferating tumour or responding tumour.

Heterogeneous response levels were observed and three arbitrary groups of treated animals were defined as: high response, intermediate response, and low response. Histopathological studies showed an inverse correlation between the responding pattern level and Ki67 proliferation rate.


Long-term fertilization determines different metabolomic profiles and responses in saplings of three rainforest tree species with different adult canopy position

Long-term fertilization determines different metabolomic profiles and responses in saplings of three rainforest tree species with different adult canopy position” by  A. Gargallo-Garriga, S. J. Wright, J. Sardans, M. Pérez-Trujillo, M. Oravec, K. Večeřová,O. Urban, M. Fernández-Martínez, T. Parella, J. Peñuelas.

Plos One, 2017, 1-21. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177030

Tropical rainforests are frequently limited by soil nutrient availability. However, the response of the metabolic phenotypic plasticity of trees to an increase of soil nutrient availabilities is poorly understood. We expected that increases in the ability of a nutrient that limits some plant processes should be detected by corresponding changes in plant metabolome profile related to such processes. We studied the foliar metabolome of saplings of three abundant tree species in a 15 year field NPK fertilization experiment in a Panamanian rainforest. The largest differences were among species and explained 75% of overall metabolome variation.

SeRMN contribution to the 32nd AETE (European Embryo Transfer Association) Meeting


The 32nd European Embryo Transfer Association Meeting of 2016 was held in Barcelona (from the 9th to the 10th of September).

We presentented the poster:

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) of goat follicular fluid shows different metabolic profiles among follicle size and female age” of S. Soto, M. Pérez-Trujillo, M.G. Catalá, M. Roura, D. Izquierdo, T. Parella, M.T. Paramio.

Abstract: Oocytes recovered from prepubertal goats are very heterogeneous in growth and grade of atresia which make them unpredictable for IVEP programs. We have observed that oocytes from prepubertal goats obtained from >3 mm follicles develop up to blastocyst stage at a similar percentage than oocytes from adult goats (18% vs 21%), suggesting that the follicle development and the follicular fluid (FF) content are more relevant to oocyte competence than the age of the donor. The aim of this study is to characterize the FF metabolomic profile from different follicular environments through a high-resolution 1H NMR-based metabolomic study. Samples of adult (n=40) and prepubertal (n=16) FF where collected by laparoscopic ovum pick-up (LOPU) and by aspiration of slaughterhouse ovaries, respectively. FF from small (< 3 mm) and large (> 3 mm) diameter follicles where pooled for each female. Multivariate ordination principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to detect patterns of sample ordination in the metabolomes. The unsupervised method clearly differed between the FF metabolomes of large and small follicles of prepubers and between the FF of preadolescent and adult individuals.


Figure. a) PCA scores plot (PC1-PC2) from 1H NMR spectral data of follicular fluid samples of preadolescent (n=16; blue dots) and adult (n=40; black dots) goats. b) PCA heat map loadings plot (PC1-PC2) with some discriminant variables assigned.

PhD Thesis by Albert Gargallo Garriga: Publications and Data Sets


The links below point to the research articles and Mass Spectrometry and NMR Spectroscopy raw datasets that were part of my thesis work. The last link points to my Ph.D. Thesis in pdf format.

Chapter 1

MEE“Ecometabolomics: Optimized NMR-based method” by Albert Rivas-Ubach, Miriam Pérez-Trujillo, Jordi Sardans, Albert Gargallo-Garriga, Teodor Parella, Josep Peñuelas. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, February 2013. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12028

Chapter 4

scireportsOpposite metabolic responses of shoots and roots to drought by Albert Gargallo-Garriga, Jordi Sardans, Míriam Pérez-Trujillo, Albert Rivas-Ubach, Michal Oravec, Teodor Parella and Josep Peñuelas. Scientific reports 4, Article number: 6829, October 2014. DOI: 10.1038/srep06829

Chapter 5

Warming differentially influences the effects of drought on stoichiometry and metabolomics in shoots and roots” by Albert Gargallo-Garriga, Jordi Sardans, Míriam Pérez-Trujillo, Michal Oravec,Otmar Urban, Anke Jentsch, Juergen Kreyling, Carl Beierkuhnlein Teodor Parella and Josep Peñuelas. New Phytologist. March 2015. DOI: 10.1111/nph.13377

Chapter 6

Plant Biology“Metabolomic responses of Quercus ilex seedlings to wounding simulating herbivory” By Jordi Sardans, Albert Gargallo-Garriga,Míriam Pérez-Trujillo, Teodor Parella, Roger Seco, Iolanda Filella, Josep  Peñuelas. Plant biology. April 2013. DOI: 10.1111/plb.12032

Chapter 7

Ph.D. Thesis

Shifts in plant foliar and floral metabolomes in response to the suppression of the associated microbiota

logo_BMCPB“Shifts in plant foliar and floral metabolomes in response to the suppression of the associated microbiota” by A. Gargallo-Garriga, J. Sardans, M. Pérez-Trujillo, A. Guenther, J. Llusià, L. Rico, J. Terradas, G. Farré-Armengol, I. Filella, T. Parella and J. Peñuelas. BMC Plant Biology 2016; 16:78. DOI: 10.1186/s12870-016-0767-7

The significance of microbial populations to the health and physiology of human and animal hosts has become a burgeoning and increasingly newsworthy topic. Of course, plants are also hosts for microbial life, and our metabolomics new study in BMC Plant Biology suggests that microbial influence on plant biology is more complex than we currently appreciate. Continue reading Shifts in plant foliar and floral metabolomes in response to the suppression of the associated microbiota

Visiting PhD Student Yaoyao Wang

Blog2Today we are saying goodbye to our dear Yaoyao, though we hope to see her very soon again.

Yaoyao is currently finishing her PhD on metabonomics applied to clinical biomarkers in the Legido-Quigley Lab at King’s College London (KCL).

She has been visiting us for the last two months, during which we have been working together in two metabonomics projects related to drug misuse biomarkers and chiral metabonomics. It has been a great pleasure for us to spend this time with her and continue with this collaboration from now on.

Seminar: Biomarker and metabolomics, a novel approach to detect drug misuse

Yaoyao Wang, visiting PhD student from King’s College London, will be giving a talk on  December the 18th at 10:00 h in the SeRMN. Her talk is entitled “Biomarker and metabolomics: a novel approach to detect drug misuse”.


Yaoyao is from Clinical Biomarkers Lab of the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King’s College London (KCL). Her PhD project focuses on developing metabolomics approach to identify biomarkers for drug misuse through the analysis of human biofluids samples and the development of data treatment methods, using R (XCMS) and other bioinformatics tools. She has been collaborating intensively with the Drug Control Centre of KCL using LC-MS.

Her talk will include the metabolomics biomarker discovery of low dose salbutamol in urine collected for anti-doping tests and preliminary longitudinal metabolomics study of “date-rape” drug GHB, as well as a glance of the other on-going projects in Clinical Biomarkers Lab.

All interested people are welcome to attend this seminar.

PhD Thesis Defense: Metabolomics and stoichiometry adapted to the study of environmental impacts on plants. PhD Thesis by Albert Gargallo Garriga


I am defending my PhD thesis next Thursday (September 10, 2015) at 11.30am in the Sala d´Actes “Carles Miravitlles” of the Institut de Ciències de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB), Campus UAB. The title of my thesis is “Metabolomics and stoichiometry adapted to the study of environmental impacts on plants” and below you can find an abstract of the work. If you are interested you are very welcome.




Metabolomics has allowed significant advances in biological sciences. An increasing number of ecological studies have applied a metabolomic approach to answer ecological questions (ecometabolomics) during the last few years. The work developed throughout this PhD thesis means a further step in the field of ecometabolomics. Continue reading PhD Thesis Defense: Metabolomics and stoichiometry adapted to the study of environmental impacts on plants. PhD Thesis by Albert Gargallo Garriga