An Organism-Level Quantitative Flux Model of Mammalian Energy Metabolism.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology

Mammalian tissues feed on nutrients in the blood circulation. At the organism-level, mammalian energy metabolism comprises of oxidation, interconverting, storing and releasing of circulating nutrients. Though much is known about the individual processes and nutrients, a holistic and quantitative model describing these processes for all major circulating nutrients is lacking. Here, by integrating isotope tracer infusion, mass spectrometry, and isotope gas analyzer measurement, we developed a framework to systematically quantify fluxes through these processes for 10 major circulating energy nutrients in mice, resulting in an organism-level quantitative flux model of energy metabolism. This model revealed in wildtype mice that circulating nutrients' metabolic cycling fluxes are more dominant than their oxidation fluxes, with distinct partition between cycling and oxidation flux for individual circulating nutrients. Applications of this framework in obese mouse models showed on a per animal basis extensive elevation of metabolic cycling fluxes in ob/ob mice, but not in diet-induced obese mice. Thus, our framework describes quantitatively the functioning of energy metabolism at the organism-level, valuable for revealing new features of energy metabolism in physiological and disease conditions.

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bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology
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