All tags metabolism Measure cell metabolism on your plate reader

Measure cell metabolism on your plate reader

Microplate-based assays to measure O2 consumption or glycolytic flux without the need for specialized equipment.

A fluorescent-based approach for direct real-time analysis of cellular respiration and glycolytic flux.

  • Assays are based on oxygen- and pH-sensing fluorophores. 
  • Reactions are non-destructive and fully reversible, allowing measurement of time courses and drug treatments​.
  • Assays do not require specialized equipment or probes: signal is measured in a standard fluorescence or TR-F plate reader.​​

​​Case study: Measurement of mitochondrial metabolism in cultured cells

Oxygen consumption rate and extracellular acidification assays can be used together to build a metabolic picture of response to drug treatment. 

We measured oxidative phosphorylation and anaerobic glycolytic flux in the human hepato-carcinoma cell line HepG2 (Figure 1). Cells were treated with FCCP (an OXPHOS uncoupler) and antimycin A (a complex III inhibitor). Cellular energy production was monitored by measuring ATP content.​​


ab113849 ATP detection 472px

Figure 1: HepG2 cells (seeded at 6.5 x 104 cells/well) were treated with 1 µM antimycin A and 2.5 µM FCCP. Oxygen consumption (white column), extracellular acidification rate (black column) and ATP concentration (stripped column) data are shown as percentage of untreated control. All measurements were performed on a FLUOstar Omega (BMG Labtech). 

As expected, complex III inhibition by antimycin A reduced oxygen consumption rate to undetectable levels, while FCCP treatment significantly increased oxygen consumption. Both antimycin A and FCCP treatment caused a dramatic increase in extracellular acidification due to the increase in lactate production. Cellular ATP concentration was virtually unchanged in treated cells as energy production is maintained.

In conclusion, we have described how to study changes to glycolytic and oxidative metabolism in response to mitochondrial modulators in real-time with a simple microplate-based assay.

AssayWhat it measuresHow it worksCompatible sample types
Extracellular Oxygen Consumption Assay (ab197243)O2 consumption rateAs cell respiration lowers O2 concentration, reagent signal increasesWhole cells, isolated mitochondria, 3D cultures, isolated enzymes, bacteria, yeasts and moulds
Glycolysis Assay [Extracellular Acidification] (ab197244)Extracellular acidification rateConversion of pyruvate to lactate causes extracellular acidification, reagent signal increasesWhole cells, isolated mitochondria, 3D cultures, isolated enzymes, bacteria, yeasts and moulds
Luminescent ATP Detection Kit (ab113849)Intracellular ATP concentrationATP reacts with D-luciferin and luciferase: emitted light is proportional to the ATP concentration inside the cellWhole cells