High throughput measurement of metabolism in planarians reveals activation of glycolysis during regeneration

Planarians are outstanding models for studying mechanisms of regeneration; however, there are few methods to measure changes in their metabolism. Examining metabolism in planarians is important because the regenerative process is dependent on numerous integrated metabolic pathways, which provide the energy required for tissue repair as well as the ability to synthesize the cellular building blocks needed to form new tissue. Therefore, we standardized an extracellular flux analysis method to measure mitochondrial and glycolytic activity in live planarians during normal growth as well as during regeneration. Small, uninjured planarians showed higher rates of oxygen consumption compared with large planarians, with no difference in glycolytic activity; however, glycolysis increased during planarian regeneration. Exposure of planarians to koningic acid, a specific inhibitor of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, completely abolished extracellular acidification with little effect on oxygen consumption, which suggests that the majority of glucose catabolized in planarians is fated for aerobic glycolysis. These studies describe a useful method for measuring respiration and glycolysis in planarians and provide data implicating changes in glucose metabolism in the regenerative response. SeaHorse

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