Isotopically nonstationary 13C metabolic flux analysis in resting and activated human platelets

Cara L. Sake, Alexander J. Metcalf, Michelle Meagher, Jorge Di Paola, Keith B. Neeves, Nanette R. Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Platelet metabolism is linked to platelet hyper- and hypoactivity in numerous human diseases. Developing a detailed understanding of the link between metabolic shifts and platelet activation state is integral to improving human health. Here, we show the first application of isotopically nonstationary 13C metabolic flux analysis to quantitatively measure carbon fluxes in both resting and thrombin activated platelets. Metabolic flux analysis results show that resting platelets primarily metabolize glucose to lactate via glycolysis, while acetate is oxidized to fuel the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Upon activation with thrombin, a potent platelet agonist, platelets increase their uptake of glucose 3-fold. This results in an absolute increase in flux throughout central metabolism, but when compared to resting platelets they redistribute carbon dramatically. Activated platelets decrease relative flux to the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway and TCA cycle from glucose and increase relative flux to lactate. These results provide the first report of reaction-level carbon fluxes in platelets and allow us to distinguish metabolic fluxes with much higher resolution than previous studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)313-322
Number of pages10
JournalMetabolic Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Blood platelets
  • Metabolic flux analysis
  • Metabolomics
  • Thrombin


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