The Metabolic Tracer Analysis Core (MTAC) is directed by Professor Daniel Tennant, Dr. Christian Ludwig and Professor Gareth Lavery. We specialise in providing high resolution methodologies to investigate metabolic activity in health and disease. Central to our approach is the use of stable isotope-enriched nutrients to examine cell metabolism, both in vitro and in vivo. Uniquely, we can combine datasets from both mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy providing the information required to unpick the complexity of the cellular metabolic network. Our investigations are complemented by the availability of Oroboros Oxygraph-2k instruments, which allow high resolution measurements of mitochondrial respiratory activity.
The Directors of MTAC have a combined over 40 years of experience and expertise in metabolic research and the development of novel means of using available technology platforms to provide the highest quality data possible. Our wide range of experience mean that regardless of the biological question, we are likely to have the means and expertise to provide the data to answer it.
We work in collaboration with researchers across the world to perform stable isotope-enriched tracing studies, including groups in China, Estonia, France, the USA and of course a number of groups from around the UK. We also work with industrial partners in both the pharmaceutical and technology platform development spaces.
MTAC utilises gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and NMR spectroscopy to analyse the incorporation of stable isotopes into cellular/tissue metabolic networks. Additionally, we utilise two Oroboros Oxygraph-2k high resolution respirometry instruments to analyse changes in mitochondrial respiratory control in the our investigations. Our bespoke freely-available software, Metabolab, permits the analysis of both NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry acquired datasets in parallel to provide additional molecular information not otherwise available from either platform alone. We help with both experimental design, including choice of stable isotope-enriched tracing molecule, as well as data analysis and interpretation to ensure that the maximal information can be derived from the datasets arising from investigations.
The research being undertaken in MTAC is a reflection of both our research interests and that of our collaborations. Examples of the types of investigation we are leading or involved in include; the metabolism of donor kidneys during transplantation, the effect of vitamin supplementation on skeletal muscle and dendritic cell metabolism, glucocorticoids on immune cell function, and the effect of hypoxia on the cell metabolic network.