• ZOOMICS: Comparative Metabolomics of Red Blood Cells From Old World Monkeys and Humans

      Bertolone, Lorenzo; Shin, Hye K.; Stefanoni, Davide; Baek, Jin Hyen; Gao, Yamei; Morrison, Evan J.; Nemkov, Travis; Thomas, Tiffany; Francis, Richard O.; Hod, Eldad A.; et al. (Frontiers Media S.A., 2020-10-23)
      As part of the ZOOMICS project, we set out to investigate common and diverging metabolic traits in the blood metabolome across various species by taking advantage of recent developments in high-throughput metabolomics. Here we provide the first comparative metabolomics analysis of fresh and stored human (n = 21, 10 males, 11 females), olive baboon (n = 20), and rhesus macaque (n = 20) red blood cells at baseline and upon 42 days of storage under blood bank conditions. The results indicated similarities and differences across species, which ultimately resulted in a differential propensity to undergo morphological alterations and lyse as a function of the duration of refrigerated storage. Focusing on purine oxidation, carboxylic acid, fatty acid, and arginine metabolism further highlighted species-specific metabolic wiring. For example, through a combination of steady state measurements and 13C615N4-arginine tracing experiments, we report an increase in arginine catabolism into ornithine in humans, suggestive of species-specific arginase 1 activity and nitric oxide synthesis—an observation that may impact the translatability of cardiovascular disease studies carried out in non-human primates (NHPs). Finally, we correlated metabolic measurements to storage-induced morphological alterations via scanning electron microscopy and hemolysis, which were significantly lower in human red cells compared to both NHPs.