Metabolome-based signature of disease pathology in MS.
BACKGROUND: Diagnostic delays are common for multiple sclerosis (MS) since diagnosis typically depends on the presentation of nonspecific clinical symptoms together with radiologically-determined central nervous system (CNS) lesions. It is important to reduce diagnostic delays as earlier initiation of disease modifying therapies mitigates long-term disability. Developing a metabolomic blood-based MS biomarker is attractive, but prior efforts have largely focused on specific subsets of metabolite classes or analytical platforms. Thus, there are opportunities to interrogate metabolite profiles using more expansive and comprehensive approaches for developing MS biomarkers and for advancing our understanding of MS pathogenesis. METHODS: To identify putative blood-based MS biomarkers, we comprehensively interrogated the metabolite profiles in 12 non-Hispanic white, non-smoking, male MS cases who were drug naïve for 3 months prior to biospecimen collection and 13 non-Hispanic white, non-smoking male controls who were frequency matched to cases by age and body mass index. We performed untargeted two-dimensional gas chromatography and time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GCxGC-TOFMS) and targeted lipidomic and amino acid analysis on serum. 325 metabolites met quality control and supervised machine learning was used to identify metabolites most informative for MS status. The discrimination potential of these select metabolites were assessed using receiver operator characteristic curves based on logistic models; top candidate metabolites were defined as having area under the curves (AUC) >80%. The associations between whole-genome expression data and the top candidate metabolites were examined, followed by pathway enrichment analyses. Similar associations were examined for 175 putative MS risk variants and the top candidate metabolites. RESULTS: 12 metabolites were determined to be informative for MS status, of which 6 had AUCs >80%: pyroglutamate, laurate, acylcarnitine C14:1, N-methylmaleimide, and 2 phosphatidylcholines (PC ae 40:5, PC ae 42:5). These metabolites participate in glutathione metabolism, fatty acid metabolism/oxidation, cellular membrane composition, and transient receptor potential channel signaling. Pathway analyses based on the gene expression association for each metabolite suggested enrichment for pathways associated with apoptosis and mitochondrial dysfunction. Interestingly, the predominant MS genetic risk allele HLA-DRB1×15:01 was associated with one of the 6 top metabolites. CONCLUSION: Our analysis represents the most comprehensive description of metabolic changes associated with MS in serum, to date, with the inclusion of genomic and genetic information. We identified atypical metabolic processes that differed between MS patients and controls, which may enable the development of biological targets for diagnosis and treatment.
Andersen, SL; Briggs, FBS; Winnike, JH; Natanzon, Y; Maichle, S; Knagge, KJ; Newby, LK; Gregory, SG
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