Novel methods in adrenal research: a metabolomics approach

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleContributedpeer-review


  • Thomas G. Papathomas - , University of Birmingham, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (Author)
  • Na Sun - , Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (Author)
  • Vasileios Chortis - , University of Birmingham, Birmingham Health Partners (Author)
  • Angela E. Taylor - , University of Birmingham, Birmingham Health Partners (Author)
  • Wiebke Arlt - , University of Birmingham, Birmingham Health Partners (Author)
  • Susan Richter - , Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (Author)
  • Graeme Eisenhofer - , Department of internal Medicine 3 (Author)
  • Gerard Ruiz-Babot - , Department of internal Medicine 3, TUD Dresden University of Technology, Harvard University, Centre for Endocrinology, Queen Mary University of London (Author)
  • Leonardo Guasti - , Queen Mary University of London (Author)
  • Axel Karl Walch - , Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (Author)


Metabolic alterations have implications in a spectrum of tissue functions and disease. Aided by novel molecular biological and computational tools, our understanding of physiological and pathological processes underpinning endocrine and endocrine-related disease has significantly expanded over the last decade. Herein, we focus on novel metabolomics-related methodologies in adrenal research: in situ metabolomics by mass spectrometry imaging, steroid metabolomics by gas and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, energy pathway metabologenomics by liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry-based metabolomics of Krebs cycle intermediates, and cellular reprogramming to generate functional steroidogenic cells and hence to modulate the steroid metabolome. All four techniques to assess and/or modulate the metabolome in biological systems provide tremendous opportunities to manage neoplastic and non-neoplastic disease of the adrenal glands in the era of precision medicine. In this context, we discuss emerging clinical applications and/or promising metabolic-driven research towards diagnostic, prognostic, predictive and therapeutic biomarkers in tumours arising from the adrenal gland and extra-adrenal paraganglia as well as modern approaches to delineate and reprogram adrenal metabolism.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-216
Number of pages16
JournalHistochemistry and cell biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Mar 2019

External IDs

PubMed 30725173
ORCID /0000-0002-3549-2477/work/142244897



  • Adrenal glands, Cellular reprogramming, In situ metabolomics, Metabologenomics, Steroid metabolomics