Radioisotope-Based Protocol for Determination of Central Carbon Metabolism in T Cells

  • Xuyong Chen
  • John William Sherman
  • Ruoning WangEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2111)


T lymphocytes are the major components of the adaptive immune system. It’s been known that T cells are able to engage a diverse range of metabolic programs to meet the metabolic demands during their life cycle from early development, activation to functional differentiation. Central carbon metabolic pathways provide energy, reducing power, and biosynthetic precursors to support T cell homeostasis, proliferation, and immune functions. As such, quantitative or semiquantitative analysis of central carbon metabolic flux activities offers mechanistic details, as well as insights into the regulation of metabolic pathways and the impact of changing metabolic programs on T cell life cycle. Global profiling of cellular metabolites by mass spectrometry-based metabolomics and metabolic flux analysis (MFA) using radioactive and nonradioactive/stable isotope approaches are powerful tools for determination of central carbon metabolic pathway activity. Here, we describe in detail the procedure for the radioisotope-based approach of analyzing central carbon metabolic fluxes in T cells.

Key words

T lymphocytes Radioactive isotope Central carbon metabolism 



This work was supported by 1R01AI114581 from the National Institute of Health and 128436-RSG-15-180-01-LIB from the American Cancer Society (R.W.).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xuyong Chen
    • 1
  • John William Sherman
    • 1
  • Ruoning Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Center for Childhood Cancer & Blood Diseases, Hematology/Oncology & BMT, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s HospitalOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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