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Metabolites, Volume 14, Issue 2 (February 2024) – 52 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Despite its low toxicity in mammals, forchlorfenuron (FCF) has raised concerns in recent years due to its increasing use in fruit crops and potential for bioaccumulation. In this study, Cunninghamella elegans (ATCC 9245) was found to convert FCF to 4-hydroxyphenyl-forchlorfenuron, the major FCF secondary metabolite in mammals, after 26 days. Following optimized biotransformation conditions using a solid support system, media screening, and inoculation with a fungal mass of C. elegans, this conversion time was significantly reduced to 7 days—representing a 73% reduction in reaction time. This study provides the first report of the metabolism of FCF by C. elegans, suggesting its potential as a more efficient, cost-effective, and ethical alternative for producing these secondary metabolites for future toxicological studies. View this paper
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12 pages, 605 KiB  
Article
Association of Dietary Protein Sources and Their Adequacy, Body Composition and Risk of Sarcopenic Obesity in South Korean Populations: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Jieun Kim, Kyoungsik Jeong, Sueun Lim, Siwoo Lee and Younghwa Baek
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020130 - 19 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1020
Abstract
Dietary protein sources and protein adequacy are crucial modulators of muscle quality and body composition. We investigated the association between dietary protein sources (and their adequacy) and body composition and the risk of sarcopenic obesity (SO) in South Korean populations. The participants ( [...] Read more.
Dietary protein sources and protein adequacy are crucial modulators of muscle quality and body composition. We investigated the association between dietary protein sources (and their adequacy) and body composition and the risk of sarcopenic obesity (SO) in South Korean populations. The participants (n = 1967) were classified into SO, obese, sarcopenia, and normal groups. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using the KS-15 questionnaire, short-form food frequency questionnaire, and anthropometric measurements. The percentage of body fat (male: 35.36 ± 0.51%; female: 44.14 ± 0.36%) was significantly high, while appendicular skeletal muscle (ASM; male: 36.39 ± 0.30%, female: 30.32 ± 0.19%) was low in the SO group. Beef and pork consumption was negatively associated with ASM (%) but positively associated with body fat (%) in the normal group and positively associated with ASM (kg/m2: beta = 0.002, p = 0.02) and BFM (kg: beta = 0.012, p = 0.03) in the SO group, respectively. The highest quintile (Q5: 173.6 g/day) showed a decreased risk of SO prevalence (AORs: 0.46, CI: 0.22–0.94) compared with that in the lowest quintile (Q1: 21.6 g/day) among the people with inadequacy protein intake. Daily poultry and egg intake was positively linked with body composition in the participants with SO, while red meat showed a negative effect on imbalanced body composition in participants in the normal and SO groups. Furthermore, a lower intake of poultry and eggs was strongly associated with SO prevalence in people who consumed inadequate amounts of daily dietary protein. Full article
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14 pages, 1738 KiB  
Article
The Efficacy of Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus Supplementation in Managing Body Weight and Blood Lipids of People with Overweight: A Randomized Pilot Trial
by Pei-Yi Chu, Ying-Chun Yu, Yi-Cheng Pan, Yun-Hao Dai, Juan-Cheng Yang, Kuo-Chin Huang and Yang-Chang Wu
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020129 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1315
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus (L. bulgaricus) in improving body weight, obesity-related outcomes, and lipid profiles of overweight people. Thirty-six overweight participants were randomly assigned to either a probiotic or a placebo group. A [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy of Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus (L. bulgaricus) in improving body weight, obesity-related outcomes, and lipid profiles of overweight people. Thirty-six overweight participants were randomly assigned to either a probiotic or a placebo group. A placebo powder or L. bulgaricus powder (containing 1 × 108 colony-forming unit (CFU) of the probiotic) was administered daily for 12 weeks. Body composition was determined, and blood tests were performed before and after the intervention. L. bulgaricus supplementation under the present condition did not affect the body weight, fat percentage, or body mass index (BMI) of the participants, while it resulted in a notable decrease in blood triglyceride (TG) levels, which corresponded to a lowering of the TG proportion in the composition of large VLDL (L–XXL sized fractions) and HDL (M and L fractions) in the probiotic-treated group. These results suggest that L. bulgaricus supplementation under the current conditions may not be helpful for losing weight, but it has the potential to decrease blood TG levels by modulating TG accumulation in or transport by VLDL/HDL in obese patients. L. bulgaricus supplements may have health-promoting properties in preventing TG-related diseases in overweight people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dietary Strategies for Metabolic Syndrome)
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10 pages, 3107 KiB  
Communication
Urinary Metabolomic Differentiation of Infants Fed on Human Breastmilk and Formulated Milk
by Ji-Woo Yu, Min-Ho Song, Ji-Ho Lee, Jun-Hwan Song, Won-Ho Hahn, Young-Soo Keum and Nam Mi Kang
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020128 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 943
Abstract
Human breastmilk is an invaluable nutritional and pharmacological resource with a highly diverse metabolite profile, which can directly affect the metabolism of infants. Application of metabolomics can discriminate the complex relationship between such nutrients and infant health. As the most common biological fluid [...] Read more.
Human breastmilk is an invaluable nutritional and pharmacological resource with a highly diverse metabolite profile, which can directly affect the metabolism of infants. Application of metabolomics can discriminate the complex relationship between such nutrients and infant health. As the most common biological fluid in metabolomic study, infant urinary metabolomics may provide the physiological impacts of different nutritional resources, namely human breastmilk and formulated milk. In this study, we aimed to identify possible differences in the urine metabolome of 30 infants (1–14 days after birth) fed with breast milk (n = 15) or formulated milk (n = 15). From metabolomic analysis with gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, 163 metabolites from single mass spectrometry (GC-MS), and 383 metabolites from tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) were confirmed in urinary samples. Various multivariate statistical analysis were performed to discriminate the differences originating from physiological/nutritional variables, including human breastmilk/formulate milk feeding, sex, and duration of feeding. Both unsupervised and supervised discriminant analyses indicated that feeding resources (human breastmilk/formulated milk) gave marginal but significant differences in urinary metabolomes, while other factors (sex, duration of feeding) did not show notable discrimination between groups. According to the biomarker analyses, several organic acid and amino acids showed statistically significant differences between different feeding resources, such as 2-hydroxyhippurate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Metabolism)
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23 pages, 3863 KiB  
Article
Phytocompounds and Regulation of Flavonoids in In Vitro-Grown Safflower Plant Tissue by Abiotic Elicitor CdCl2
by Bushra Ejaz, Abdul Mujib, Rukaya Syeed, Jyoti Mamgain, Moien Qadir Malik, Kanchan Birat, Yaser Hassan Dewir and Katalin Magyar-Tábori
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020127 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1072
Abstract
In this study, a Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) investigation of embryogenic callus and somatic embryo regenerated shoots of Carthamus tinctorius revealed the presence of a variety of sugars, sugar acids, sugar alcohols, fatty acids, organic acids, and amino acids of broad therapeutic value. [...] Read more.
In this study, a Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) investigation of embryogenic callus and somatic embryo regenerated shoots of Carthamus tinctorius revealed the presence of a variety of sugars, sugar acids, sugar alcohols, fatty acids, organic acids, and amino acids of broad therapeutic value. The in vitro developed inflorescence contained a wide range of active compounds. In embryogenic calluses, important flavonoids like naringenin, myricetin, kaempferol, epicatechin gallate, rutin, pelargonidin, peonidin, and delphinidin were identified. To augment the synthesis of active compounds, the effect of cadmium chloride (CdCl2) elicitation was tested for various treatments (T1–T4) along with a control (T0). Varying concentrations of CdCl2 [0.05 mM (T1), 0.10 mM (T2), 0.15 mM (T3), and 0.20 mM (T4)] were added to the MS medium, and flavonoid accumulation was quantified through ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectroscopy (UHPLC–MS/MS). The flavonoids naringenin, kaempferol, epicatechin gallate, pelargonidin, cyanidin, and delphinidin increased by 6.7-, 1.9-, 3.3-, 2.1-, 1.9-, and 4.4-fold, respectively, at T3, whereas quercetin, myricetin, rutin, and peonidin showed a linear increase with the increase in CdCl2 levels. The impacts of stress markers, i.e., ascorbate peroxidase (APX), catalase (CAT), and superoxide dismutase (SOD), on defense responses in triggering synthesis were also evaluated. The maximum APX and SOD activity was observed at T3, while CAT activity was at its maximum at T2. The impact of elicitor on biochemical attributes like protein, proline, sugar, and malondialdehyde (MDA) content was investigated. The maximum protein, proline, and sugar accumulation was noted at high elicitor dose T4, while the maximum MDA content was noted at T3. These elevated levels of biochemical parameters indicated stress in culture, and the amendment of CdCl2 in media thus could be a realistic approach for enhancing secondary metabolite synthesis in safflower. Full article
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13 pages, 2356 KiB  
Article
Circadian Disruption across Lifespan Impairs Glucose Homeostasis and Insulin Sensitivity in Adult Mice
by Tracy K. Her, Jin Li, Hao Lin, Dong Liu, Kate M. Root, Jean F. Regal, Emilyn U. Alejandro and Ruifeng Cao
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020126 - 16 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1985
Abstract
Circadian rhythm disruption is associated with impaired glucose homeostasis and type 2 diabetes. For example, night shift work is associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes. However, the effects of chronic circadian disruption since early life on adult metabolic health trajectory remain [...] Read more.
Circadian rhythm disruption is associated with impaired glucose homeostasis and type 2 diabetes. For example, night shift work is associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes. However, the effects of chronic circadian disruption since early life on adult metabolic health trajectory remain unknown. Here, using the “Short Day” (SD) mouse model, in which an 8 h/8 h light/dark (LD) cycle was used to disrupt mouse circadian rhythms across the lifespan, we investigated glucose homeostasis in adult mice. Adult SD mice were fully entrained into the 8 h/8 h LD cycle, and control mice were entrained into the 12 h/12 h LD cycle. Under a normal chow diet, female and male SD mice displayed a normal body weight trajectory. However, female but not male SD mice under a normal chow diet displayed glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, which are associated with impaired insulin signaling/AKT in the skeletal muscle and liver. Under high-fat diet (HFD) challenges, male but not female SD mice demonstrated increased body weight gain compared to controls. Both male and female SD mice developed glucose intolerance under HFD. Taken together, these results demonstrate that environmental disruption of circadian rhythms contributes to obesity in a sexually dimorphic manner but increases the risk of glucose intolerance and insulin resistance in both males and females. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Roles of the Circadian Rhythms in Metabolic Disease and Health)
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13 pages, 2106 KiB  
Article
metabCombiner 2.0: Disparate Multi-Dataset Feature Alignment for LC-MS Metabolomics
by Hani Habra, Jennifer L. Meijer, Tong Shen, Oliver Fiehn, David A. Gaul, Facundo M. Fernández, Kaitlin R. Rempfert, Thomas O. Metz, Karen E. Peterson, Charles R. Evans and Alla Karnovsky
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 125; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020125 - 15 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1176
Abstract
Liquid chromatography–high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS), as applied to untargeted metabolomics, enables the simultaneous detection of thousands of small molecules, generating complex datasets. Alignment is a crucial step in data processing pipelines, whereby LC-MS features derived from common ions are assembled into a unified [...] Read more.
Liquid chromatography–high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS), as applied to untargeted metabolomics, enables the simultaneous detection of thousands of small molecules, generating complex datasets. Alignment is a crucial step in data processing pipelines, whereby LC-MS features derived from common ions are assembled into a unified matrix amenable to further analysis. Variability in the analytical factors that influence liquid chromatography separations complicates data alignment. This is prominent when aligning data acquired in different laboratories, generated using non-identical instruments, or between batches from large-scale studies. Previously, we developed metabCombiner for aligning disparately acquired LC-MS metabolomics datasets. Here, we report significant upgrades to metabCombiner that enable the stepwise alignment of multiple untargeted LC-MS metabolomics datasets, facilitating inter-laboratory reproducibility studies. To accomplish this, a “primary” feature list is used as a template for matching compounds in “target” feature lists. We demonstrate this workflow by aligning four lipidomics datasets from core laboratories generated using each institution’s in-house LC-MS instrumentation and methods. We also introduce batchCombine, an application of the metabCombiner framework for aligning experiments composed of multiple batches. metabCombiner is available as an R package on Github and Bioconductor, along with a new online version implemented as an R Shiny App. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open-Source Software in Metabolomics)
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14 pages, 2063 KiB  
Article
Exposure to OPFRs Is Associated with Obesity and Dysregulated Serum Lipid Profiles: Data from 2017–2018 NHANES
by He Li, Fenglin Li, Chaoyi Zhou, Jifan Bu, Hao Yang, Liangchen Zhong, Weilong Xing and Liangzhong Li
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020124 - 13 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1029
Abstract
Widespread exposure to organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs) has been observed in the general population. Emerging studies have revealed OPFRs possess endocrine-disturbing properties. The present study aims to assess the association between urinary metabolites of OPFRs, BMI, and serum lipid profiles. Data from the [...] Read more.
Widespread exposure to organophosphorus flame retardants (OPFRs) has been observed in the general population. Emerging studies have revealed OPFRs possess endocrine-disturbing properties. The present study aims to assess the association between urinary metabolites of OPFRs, BMI, and serum lipid profiles. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2017–2018 were obtained, with 1334 adults enrolled in the current study. Urinary concentrations of bis (1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BCIPP), bis(2-chloroethyl) phosphate (BCEP), bis(1,3-dichloro-2-propyl) phosphate (BDCPP), dibutyl phosphate (DBUP), and diphenyl phosphate (DPHP) were quantified to assess OPFR exposure. Covariate-adjusted linear and logistic regression models were conducted to explore the associations between log2-transformed concentrations of OPFR metabolites, BMI, obesity, and serum lipid profiles. Stratified analyses were performed to assess the heterogeneity of associations by age, gender, race, etc. Positive associations were found between OPFR exposure and the risk of obesity. The multivariate linear analysis indicated that a one-unit increase in log2-transformed urinary concentrations of BCEP and BDCPP was associated with 0.27 (95% CI: 0.02–0.52, p = 0.0338) and 0.56 (95% CI: 0.25–0.87, p = 0.0004) higher BMI value, respectively. One log2-unit increase in urinary BCEP and BDCPP concentrations was associated with 1.1-fold (95% CI: 1.02–1.18, p = 0.0096) and 1.19-fold (95% CI: 1.09–1.30, p = 0.0001) risk for developing obesity. Furthermore, the non-linear relationship between exposure to OPFRs and obesity was identified. Additionally, multivariable linear regression showed that urinary DPHP concentrations were inversely correlated with serum triglyceride (TG) levels (β = −7.41, 95% CI: −12.13 to −2.68, p = 0.0022). However, no other OPFR metabolites were found to be significantly statistically associated with serum lipid levels after adjusting for potential confounders. In conclusion, environmental exposure to OPFRs might contribute to obesity and dysregulated TG concentrations in adults. Future prospective research is warranted to confirm the causal relationship between metabolites of OPFRs and obesity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Metabolites Associated with Diet, Sleep, and Related Diseases)
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31 pages, 1497 KiB  
Review
ApoB100 and Atherosclerosis: What’s New in the 21st Century?
by Dimitris Kounatidis, Natalia G. Vallianou, Aikaterini Poulaki, Angelos Evangelopoulos, Fotis Panagopoulos, Theodora Stratigou, Eleni Geladari, Irene Karampela and Maria Dalamaga
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020123 - 12 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1380
Abstract
ApoB is the main protein of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and is further divided into ApoB48 in the intestine and ApoB100 in the liver. Very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) is produced by the liver, contains ApoB100, and is metabolized into its remnants, intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL) and [...] Read more.
ApoB is the main protein of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and is further divided into ApoB48 in the intestine and ApoB100 in the liver. Very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) is produced by the liver, contains ApoB100, and is metabolized into its remnants, intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). ApoB100 has been suggested to play a crucial role in the formation of the atherogenic plaque. Apart from being a biomarker of atherosclerosis, ApoB100 seems to be implicated in the inflammatory process of atherosclerosis per se. In this review, we will focus on the structure, the metabolism, and the function of ApoB100, as well as its role as a predictor biomarker of cardiovascular risk. Moreover, we will elaborate upon the molecular mechanisms regarding the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis, and we will discuss the disorders associated with the APOB gene mutations, and the potential role of various drugs as therapeutic targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipid Biomarkers and Cardiometabolic Diseases)
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13 pages, 2204 KiB  
Article
Effects of Astragaloside IV on Hearing, Inflammatory Factors, and Intestinal Flora in Mice Exposed to Noise
by Junyi Li, Jian Yang, Yun Xia, Junyi Wang and Yuan Xia
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020122 - 11 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1082
Abstract
Long-term exposure to noise can cause irreversible hearing loss. Considering that there is no effective drug treatment, it is important to seek preventive treatment for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Although astragaloside IV (AS-IV) protects against NIHL by reducing serum inflammatory factors, there is [...] Read more.
Long-term exposure to noise can cause irreversible hearing loss. Considering that there is no effective drug treatment, it is important to seek preventive treatment for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Although astragaloside IV (AS-IV) protects against NIHL by reducing serum inflammatory factors, there is scarce information on the regulation of inflammatory factors by AS-IV to prevent NIHL. We investigated the hearing thresholds and relationship between the serum levels of inflammatory cytokines and intestinal microbiota of c57bl/6j mice exposed to noise (103 dB SPL 4 h·d−1) for 7 days, treated with or without AS-IV. Our results revealed a lower hearing threshold and lower serum levels of TNF-α, TNF-γ, IL-6, IL-1β, and IFN-γ in the mice treated with AS-IV. Additionally, AS-IV increased the abundance levels of the phylum Firmicutes, class Bacillus, order Lactobacillus, and family Lactobacillus (p < 0.05), and decreased those of the phylum Bacteroidetes and order Bacteroidales (p < 0.05). Lactobacillus and Bacilli negatively correlated with TNF-α, TNF-γ, and IL-1β; Erysipelotrichaceae negatively correlated with INF-γ; and Clostridiales positively correlated with IL-1β. In conclusion, AS-IV reduces the elevation of hearing thresholds in mice, preventing hearing loss in mice exposed to noise, and under the intervention of AS-IV, changes in the levels of inflammatory factors correlate with intestinal flora. We suggest that AS-IV improves intestinal flora and reduces inflammation levels in c57bl/6j mice exposed to noise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Toxicology and Metabolism)
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17 pages, 2212 KiB  
Article
Intestinal Dysbiosis in Subjects with Obesity from Western Mexico and Its Association with a Proinflammatory Profile and Disturbances of Folate (B9) and Carbohydrate Metabolism
by Verónica Riggen-Bueno, Susana Del Toro-Arreola, Tonatiuh Abimael Baltazar-Díaz, Alejandra N. Vega-Magaña, Marcela Peña-Rodríguez, Paula Alejandra Castaño-Jiménez, Laura Verónica Sánchez-Orozco, José María Vera-Cruz and Miriam Ruth Bueno-Topete
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 121; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020121 - 11 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1262
Abstract
Obesity is a public health problem with a growing prevalence worldwide. In Mexico, it is estimated that one out of three adults suffer from obesity. In these patients, the intestinal microbiota (IM) undergoes pathological changes that are associated with a dysbiotic state; however, [...] Read more.
Obesity is a public health problem with a growing prevalence worldwide. In Mexico, it is estimated that one out of three adults suffer from obesity. In these patients, the intestinal microbiota (IM) undergoes pathological changes that are associated with a dysbiotic state; however, the microbiota profile of adult subjects with obesity from western Mexico has not been described. To assess this, fecal samples were obtained from 65 participants (Obese = 38; Control = 27). The microbial composition was characterized by 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. The IM of the group with obesity revealed a clear decrease in richness and diversity (p < 0.001), as well as a significant increase in proinflammatory bacterial groups, mainly genera belonging to the Negativicutes class, Escherichia/Shigella, and Prevotella. Likewise, an increase in short-chain fatty acid-producing bacteria was found, especially the genus Lachnoclostridium. Additionally, PICRUSt2 analysis showed a depletion of vitamin B9 metabolism and an increase in saccharolytic pathways. The IM of patients with obesity possesses a dysbiotic, proinflammatory environment, possibly contributing to lipogenesis and adiposity. Thus, assessing the IM will allow for a better understanding of the pathophysiology of metabolic diseases of high prevalence, such as obesity. These findings are described for the first time in the adult population of western Mexico. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Insights into Gut Microbiota and Obesity)
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18 pages, 3450 KiB  
Article
Metabolomics Reveals Antioxidant Metabolites in Colored Rice Grains
by Jinyan Zhu, Ruizhi Wang, Yu Zhang, Yanyao Lu, Shuo Cai and Qiangqiang Xiong
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020120 - 11 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1020
Abstract
Colored rice is richer in nutrients and contains more nutrients and bioactive substances than ordinary white rice. Moderate consumption of black (purple) rice has a variety of physiological effects, such as antioxidant effects, blood lipid regulation, and blood sugar control. Therefore, we utilized [...] Read more.
Colored rice is richer in nutrients and contains more nutrients and bioactive substances than ordinary white rice. Moderate consumption of black (purple) rice has a variety of physiological effects, such as antioxidant effects, blood lipid regulation, and blood sugar control. Therefore, we utilized nontargeted metabolomics, quantitative assays for flavonoid and phenolic compounds, and physiological and biochemical data to explore the correlations between metabolites and the development of antioxidant characteristics in pigmented rice seeds. The findings indicated that, among Yangjinnuo 818 (YJN818), Hongnuo (HN), Yangchannuo 1 hao (YCN1H), and Yangzi 6 hao (YZ6H), YZ6H exhibited the highest PAL activity, which was 2.13, 3.08, and 3.25 times greater than those of YJN818, HN, and YCN1H, respectively. YZ6H likewise exhibited the highest flavonoid content, which was 3.8, 7.06, and 35.54 times greater than those of YJN818, HN, and YCN1H, respectively. YZ6H also had the highest total antioxidant capacity, which was 2.42, 3.76, and 3.77 times greater than those of YJN818, HN, and YCN1H, respectively. Thus, purple rice grains have stronger antioxidant properties than other colored rice grains. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis revealed that trans-3,3′,4′,5,5′,7-hexahydroxyflavanone, phorizin, and trilobatin in the YZ6H, HN, and YCN1H comparison groups all had area under the curve (AUC) values of 1. Phlorizin, trans-3,3′,4′,5,5′,7-hexahydroxyflavanone, and trilobatin were recognized as indices of antioxidant capability in colored rice in this research. This research adds to the understanding of antioxidant compounds in pigmented rice, which can increase the nutritional value of rice and promote the overall well-being of individuals. This type of information is of immense importance in maintaining a balanced and healthy diet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Plant Metabolism)
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14 pages, 1722 KiB  
Protocol
Exploring the Significance, Extraction, and Characterization of Plant-Derived Secondary Metabolites in Complex Mixtures
by Ruchi Barthwal and Rohit Mahar
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 119; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020119 - 11 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1128
Abstract
Secondary metabolites are essential components for the survival of plants. Secondary metabolites in complex mixtures from plants have been adopted and documented by different traditional medicinal systems worldwide for the treatment of various human diseases. The extraction strategies are the key components for [...] Read more.
Secondary metabolites are essential components for the survival of plants. Secondary metabolites in complex mixtures from plants have been adopted and documented by different traditional medicinal systems worldwide for the treatment of various human diseases. The extraction strategies are the key components for therapeutic development from natural sources. Polarity-dependent solvent-selective extraction, acidic and basic solution-based extraction, and microwave- and ultrasound-assisted extraction are some of the most important strategies for the extraction of natural products from plants. The method needs to be optimized to isolate a specific class of compounds. Therefore, to establish the mechanism of action, the characterization of the secondary metabolites, in a mixture or in their pure forms, is equally important. LC-MS, GC-MS, and extensive NMR spectroscopic strategies are established techniques for the profiling of metabolites in crude extracts. Various protocols for the extraction and characterization of a wide range of classes of compounds have been developed by various research groups and are described in this review. Additionally, the possible means of characterizing the compounds in the mixture and their uniqueness are also discussed. Hyphenated techniques are crucial for profiling because of their ability to analyze a vast range of compounds. In contrast, inherent chemical shifts make NMR an indispensable tool for structure elucidation in complex mixtures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Metabolites from Natural Sources (2nd Edition))
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16 pages, 1418 KiB  
Technical Note
Implementation of FAIR Practices in Computational Metabolomics Workflows—A Case Study
by Mahnoor Zulfiqar, Michael R. Crusoe, Birgitta König-Ries, Christoph Steinbeck, Kristian Peters and Luiz Gadelha
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020118 - 10 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1158
Abstract
Scientific workflows facilitate the automation of data analysis tasks by integrating various software and tools executed in a particular order. To enable transparency and reusability in workflows, it is essential to implement the FAIR principles. Here, we describe our experiences implementing the FAIR [...] Read more.
Scientific workflows facilitate the automation of data analysis tasks by integrating various software and tools executed in a particular order. To enable transparency and reusability in workflows, it is essential to implement the FAIR principles. Here, we describe our experiences implementing the FAIR principles for metabolomics workflows using the Metabolome Annotation Workflow (MAW) as a case study. MAW is specified using the Common Workflow Language (CWL), allowing for the subsequent execution of the workflow on different workflow engines. MAW is registered using a CWL description on WorkflowHub. During the submission process on WorkflowHub, a CWL description is used for packaging MAW using the Workflow RO-Crate profile, which includes metadata in Bioschemas. Researchers can use this narrative discussion as a guideline to commence using FAIR practices for their bioinformatics or cheminformatics workflows while incorporating necessary amendments specific to their research area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Open-Source Software in Metabolomics)
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12 pages, 4154 KiB  
Article
Anti-Hyperuricemic Effects of Extracts from Chaenomeles speciosa (Sweet) Nakai Fruits on Hyperuricemic Rats
by Ruoling Xu, Peng Deng, Yiren Ma, Kui Li, Fucai Ren and Ning Li
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020117 - 10 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1048
Abstract
Chaenomeles speciosa (Sweet) Nakai (C. speciosa) fruit has medicinal and food applications and exhibits beneficial pharmacological properties. This study aimed to explore the hypouricemic effect of C. speciosa fruit extracts on hyperuricemic rats and uncover potential protective mechanisms. The rats were [...] Read more.
Chaenomeles speciosa (Sweet) Nakai (C. speciosa) fruit has medicinal and food applications and exhibits beneficial pharmacological properties. This study aimed to explore the hypouricemic effect of C. speciosa fruit extracts on hyperuricemic rats and uncover potential protective mechanisms. The rats were given hypoxanthine (HX, 100 mg/kg) and potassium oxonate (PO, 300 mg/kg) for 14 days to induce hyperuricemia. Subsequently, the rats were orally administered C. speciosa fruits total extract (CSFTE, 250, 500, and 1000 mg/kg) and allopurinol (AP, 10 mg/kg) one hour after exposure to HX and PO. The results showed that CSFTE had significant xanthine oxidase (XOD) inhibitory activity in vitro (IC50 value of 334.2 μg/mL) and exhibited hypouricemic effects in vivo, reducing uric acid (UA), creatinine (CRE), and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels in serum. CSFTE increased UA excretion through the regulation of URAT1, GLUT9, OAT1, and OAT3 protein expression in the kidneys of hyperuricemic rats. Additionally, CSFTE (500 and 1000 mg/kg) was more effective than AP in improving renal injury and protecting kidney function in hyperuricemic rats. Our study demonstrated that CSFTE effectively reduced UA levels and protected the kidneys by inhibiting XOD expression in vitro and regulating UA, CRE, BUN, URAT1, GLUT9, OAT1, and OAT3 proteins in vivo. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internal Medicine, Clinical Immunology and Metabolic Diseases)
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18 pages, 3547 KiB  
Article
Longitudinal Profiling of Fasting Plasma Metabolome in Response to Weight-Loss Interventions in Patients with Morbid Obesity
by Mingjing Chen, Guanhong Miao, Zhiguang Huo, Hao Peng, Xiaoxiao Wen, Stephen Anton, Dachuan Zhang, Gang Hu, Ricky Brock, Phillip J. Brantley and Jinying Zhao
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020116 - 10 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1087
Abstract
It is well recognized that patients with severe obesity exhibit remarkable heterogeneity in response to different types of weight-loss interventions. Those who undergo Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) usually exhibit more favorable glycemic outcomes than those who receive adjustable gastric banding (BAND) or intensive [...] Read more.
It is well recognized that patients with severe obesity exhibit remarkable heterogeneity in response to different types of weight-loss interventions. Those who undergo Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB) usually exhibit more favorable glycemic outcomes than those who receive adjustable gastric banding (BAND) or intensive medical intervention (IMI). The molecular mechanisms behind these observations, however, remain largely unknown. To identify the plasma metabolites associated with differential glycemic outcomes induced by weight-loss intervention, we studied 75 patients with severe obesity (25 each in RYGB, BAND, or IMI). Using untargeted metabolomics, we repeatedly measured 364 metabolites in plasma samples at baseline and 1-year after intervention. Linear regression was used to examine whether baseline metabolites or changes in metabolites are associated with differential glycemic outcomes in response to different types of weight-loss intervention, adjusting for sex, baseline age, and BMI as well as weight loss. Network analyses were performed to identify differential metabolic pathways involved in the observed associations. After correction for multiple testing (q < 0.05), 33 (RYGB vs. IMI) and 28 (RYGB vs. BAND) baseline metabolites were associated with changes in fasting plasma glucose (FPG) or glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c). Longitudinal changes in 38 (RYGB vs. IMI) and 38 metabolites (RYGB vs. BAND) were significantly associated with changes in FPG or HbA1c. The identified metabolites are enriched in pathways involved in the biosynthesis of aminoacyl-tRNA and branched-chain amino acids. Weight-loss intervention evokes extensive changes in plasma metabolites, and the altered metabolome may underlie the differential glycemic outcomes in response to different types of weight-loss intervention, independent of weight loss itself. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Analytical Advances and Applications in Clinical Metabolomics)
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13 pages, 1179 KiB  
Article
A Decrease in Branched-Chain Amino Acids after a Competitive Male Professional Volleyball Game—A Metabolomic-Based Approach
by Taillan Martins Oliveira, Tathiany Jéssica Ferreira, Paula Albuquerque Penna Franca, Rudson Ribeiro da Cruz, Mauricio Gattás Bara-Filho, Fábio Luiz Candido Cahuê, Ana Paula Valente and Anna Paola Trindade Rocha Pierucci
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020115 - 09 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1445
Abstract
A competitive volleyball game is a highly metabolic and physically demanding event for professional players. This study aimed to investigate whether a single game at the end of a preseason promotes changes in the biochemical markers of physical exercise responses and the metabolomic [...] Read more.
A competitive volleyball game is a highly metabolic and physically demanding event for professional players. This study aimed to investigate whether a single game at the end of a preseason promotes changes in the biochemical markers of physical exercise responses and the metabolomic profile of professional volleyball players. This cross-sectional study included 13 male Brazilian professional volleyball players. Food intake, body composition, heart rate, physical movement variables, and blood biochemical indicators were evaluated. For non-target metabolomic analysis, serum samples were subjected to 500 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. Data analysis showed no significant difference in the biochemical indicators after the game (p > 0.05). The level of metabolites present in the groups of the main components (β-hydroxybutyrate, arginine/lysine, isoleucine, leucine, and valine) had decreased after the game. However, formic acid and histidine levels increased. Among the compounds not part of the main components, hypoxanthine and tyrosine increased, whereas low-density lipoprotein and very low-density lipoprotein levels decreased. After the game, the metabolomic profiles of players showed significant negative variations in essential amino acids (leucine, valine, and isoleucine). These decreases might be influenced by athlete diet and reduced glycogen storage due to lower carbohydrate intake, potentially impacting serum-essential amino acid levels via oxidation in skeletal muscle. The study provides insights for developing metabolic compensation strategies in athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomic Advances in Promoting Exercise-Induced Metabolic Changes)
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19 pages, 3623 KiB  
Article
Kinetic Modeling of Brain [18-F]FDG Positron Emission Tomography Time Activity Curves with Input Function Recovery (IR) Method
by Marco Bucci, Eleni Rebelos, Vesa Oikonen, Juha Rinne, Lauri Nummenmaa, Patricia Iozzo and Pirjo Nuutila
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020114 - 08 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1154
Abstract
Accurate positron emission tomography (PET) data quantification relies on high-quality input plasma curves, but venous blood sampling may yield poor-quality data, jeopardizing modeling outcomes. In this study, we aimed to recover sub-optimal input functions by using information from the tail (5th–100th min) of [...] Read more.
Accurate positron emission tomography (PET) data quantification relies on high-quality input plasma curves, but venous blood sampling may yield poor-quality data, jeopardizing modeling outcomes. In this study, we aimed to recover sub-optimal input functions by using information from the tail (5th–100th min) of curves obtained through the frequent sampling protocol and an input recovery (IR) model trained with reference curves of optimal shape. Initially, we included 170 plasma input curves from eight published studies with clamp [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose PET exams. Model validation involved 78 brain PET studies for which compartmental model (CM) analysis was feasible (reference (ref) + training sets). Recovered curves were compared with original curves using area under curve (AUC), max peak standardized uptake value (maxSUV). CM parameters (ref + training sets) and fractional uptake rate (FUR) (all sets) were computed. Original and recovered curves from the ref set had comparable AUC (d = 0.02, not significant (NS)), maxSUV (d = 0.05, NS) and comparable brain CM results (NS). Recovered curves from the training set were different from the original according to maxSUV (d = 3) and biologically plausible according to the max theoretical K1 (53//56). Brain CM results were different in the training set (p < 0.05 for all CM parameters and brain regions) but not in the ref set. FUR showed reductions similarly in the recovered curves of the training and test sets compared to the original curves (p < 0.05 for all regions for both sets). The IR method successfully recovered the plasma inputs of poor quality, rescuing cases otherwise excluded from the kinetic modeling results. The validation approach proved useful and can be applied to different tracers and metabolic conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Nutrition and Metabolism)
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13 pages, 829 KiB  
Review
Resurrection Plants—A Valuable Source of Natural Bioactive Compounds: From Word-of-Mouth to Scientifically Proven Sustainable Use
by Dimitar Djilianov, Daniela Moyankova, Petko Mladenov, Tanya Topouzova-Hristova, Aneliya Kostadinova, Galya Staneva, Diana Zasheva, Strahil Berkov and Lyudmila Simova-Stoilova
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020113 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1139
Abstract
Resurrection plant species are a group of higher plants whose vegetative tissues are able to withstand long periods of almost full desiccation and recover quickly upon rewatering. Apart from being a model system for studying desiccation tolerance, resurrection plant species appear to be [...] Read more.
Resurrection plant species are a group of higher plants whose vegetative tissues are able to withstand long periods of almost full desiccation and recover quickly upon rewatering. Apart from being a model system for studying desiccation tolerance, resurrection plant species appear to be a valuable source of metabolites, with various areas of application. A significant number of papers have been published in recent years with respect to the extraction and application of bioactive compounds from higher resurrection plant species in various test systems. Promising results have been obtained with respect to antioxidative and antiaging effects in various test systems, particularly regarding valuable anticancer effects in human cell lines. Here, we review the latest advances in the field and propose potential mechanisms of action of myconoside—a predominant secondary compound in the European members of the Gesneriaceae family. In addition, we shed light on the possibilities for the sustainable use of natural products derived from resurrection plants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioactive Metabolites from Natural Sources (2nd Edition))
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21 pages, 3360 KiB  
Article
Data-Driven Characterization of Metabolome Reprogramming during Early Development of Sorghum Seedlings
by Ian A. Dubery, Lerato P. Nephali, Fidele Tugizimana and Paul A. Steenkamp
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020112 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1030
Abstract
Specialized metabolites are produced via discrete metabolic pathways. These small molecules play significant roles in plant growth and development, as well as defense against environmental stresses. These include damping off or seedling blight at a post-emergence stage. Targeted metabolomics was followed to gain [...] Read more.
Specialized metabolites are produced via discrete metabolic pathways. These small molecules play significant roles in plant growth and development, as well as defense against environmental stresses. These include damping off or seedling blight at a post-emergence stage. Targeted metabolomics was followed to gain insights into metabolome changes characteristic of different developmental stages of sorghum seedlings. Metabolites were extracted from leaves at seven time points post-germination and analyzed using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Multivariate statistical analysis combined with chemometric tools, such as principal component analysis, hierarchical clustering analysis, and orthogonal partial least squares–discriminant analysis, were applied for data exploration and to reduce data dimensionality as well as for the selection of potential discriminant biomarkers. Changes in metabolome patterns of the seedlings were analyzed in the early, middle, and late stages of growth (7, 14, and 29 days post-germination). The metabolite classes were amino acids, organic acids, lipids, cyanogenic glycosides, hormones, hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives, and flavonoids, with the latter representing the largest class of metabolites. In general, the metabolite content showed an increase with the progression of the plant growth stages. Most of the differential metabolites were derived from tryptophan and phenylalanine, which contribute to innate immune defenses as well as growth. Quantitative analysis identified a correlation of apigenin flavone derivatives with growth stage. Data-driven investigations of these metabolomes provided new insights into the developmental dynamics that occur in seedlings to limit post-germination mortality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolomics and Plant Defence)
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9 pages, 936 KiB  
Article
Relationship of Thyroid Function with Renal Hemodynamics and Cholesterol Metabolism in Proteinuric Kidney Disease: A Pilot Study
by Yoshitaka Iwazu, Kazuhiko Kotani, Taro Sugase, Daisuke Nagata and Toshiyuki Yamada
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020111 - 07 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1032
Abstract
Nephrotic syndrome and hypothyroidism are respectively reported to influence renal hemodynamics and hypercholesterolemia. However, the relationship of proteinuria-associated thyroid function with renal hemodynamics and cholesterol metabolism has yet to be determined in a simultaneous analysis of thyroid, renal, and cholesterol variables. We investigated [...] Read more.
Nephrotic syndrome and hypothyroidism are respectively reported to influence renal hemodynamics and hypercholesterolemia. However, the relationship of proteinuria-associated thyroid function with renal hemodynamics and cholesterol metabolism has yet to be determined in a simultaneous analysis of thyroid, renal, and cholesterol variables. We investigated the hypothesis that the changes in thyroid hormones by proteinuria may contribute to changes in cholesterol metabolism and renal hemodynamics by proteinuria. Twenty-nine patients (17 men and 12 women) with proteinuric kidney disease (mean age 46 years) were enrolled in a pilot study. Data for serum free triiodothyronine (FT3), free thyroxine (FT4), total cholesterol, and filtration fraction (FF; assessed by para-aminohippuric acid clearance) were used in variable-adjusted correlation analyses. The patients had the following data (mean ± standard deviation): urinary protein 5.18 ± 3.28 g/day, FT3 2.18 ± 0.44 pg/mL, FT4 1.03 ± 0.26 ng/dL, FF 0.27 ± 0.07, and total cholesterol 327 ± 127 mg/dL. There was a significant positive correlation of FT3 with FF (β = 0.58, p = 0.01) and a significant inverse correlation of FT4 with total cholesterol (β = −0.40, p = 0.01). A positive correlation of FT3 with FF and an inverse correlation of FT4 with total cholesterol were demonstrated in patients with proteinuric kidney disease. The proteinuria-associated reduction in serum thyroid hormone levels was correlated with hypercholesterolemia and the reduced glomerular FF. Further studies of these relationships are required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inflammatory Biomarkers in Critical Patients)
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13 pages, 688 KiB  
Article
Untargeted Plasma Metabolomic Profiling in Patients with Depressive Disorders: A Preliminary Study
by Alexander A. Chernonosov, Irina A. Mednova, Lyudmila A. Levchuk, Ekaterina O. Mazurenko, Olga V. Roschina, German G. Simutkin, Nikolay A. Bokhan, Vladimir V. Koval and Svetlana A. Ivanova
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020110 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1146
Abstract
Depressive disorder is a multifactorial disease that is based on dysfunctions in mental and biological processes. The search for biomarkers can improve its diagnosis, personalize therapy, and lead to a deep understanding of the biochemical processes underlying depression. The purpose of this work [...] Read more.
Depressive disorder is a multifactorial disease that is based on dysfunctions in mental and biological processes. The search for biomarkers can improve its diagnosis, personalize therapy, and lead to a deep understanding of the biochemical processes underlying depression. The purpose of this work was a metabolomic analysis of blood serum to classify patients with depressive disorders and healthy individuals using Compound Discoverer software. Using high-resolution mass spectrometry, blood plasma samples from 60 people were analyzed, of which 30 were included in a comparison group (healthy donors), and 30 were patients with a depressive episode (F32.11) and recurrent depressive disorder (F33.11). Differences between patient and control groups were identified using the built-in utilities in Compound Discoverer software. Compounds were identified by their accurate mass and fragment patterns using the mzCloud database and tentatively identified by their exact mass using the ChemSpider search engine and the KEGG, ChEBI, FDA UNII-NLM, Human Metabolome and LipidMAPS databases. We identified 18 metabolites that could divide patients with depressive disorders from healthy donors. Of these, only two compounds were tentatively identified using the mzCloud database (betaine and piperine) based on their fragmentation spectra. For three compounds ((4S,5S,8S,10R)-4,5,8-trihydroxy-10-methyl-3,4,5,8,9,10-hexahydro-2H-oxecin-2-one, (2E,4E)-N-(2-hydroxy-2-methylpropyl)-2,4-tetradecadienamide and 17α-methyl-androstan-3-hydroxyimine-17β-ol), matches were found in the mzCloud database but with low score, which could not serve as reliable evidence of their structure. Another 13 compounds were identified by their exact mass in the ChemSpider database, 9 (g-butyrobetaine, 6-diazonio-5-oxo-L-norleucine, 11-aminoundecanoic acid, methyl N-acetyl-2-diazonionorleucinate, glycyl-glycyl-argininal, dilaurylmethylamine, 12-ketodeoxycholic acid, dicetylamine, 1-linoleoyl-2-hydroxy-sn-glycero-3-PC) had only molecular formulas proposed, and 4 were unidentified. Thus, the use of Compound Discoverer software alone was not sufficient to identify all revealed metabolites. Nevertheless, the combination of the found metabolites made it possible to divide patients with depressive disorders from healthy donors. Full article
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18 pages, 4183 KiB  
Article
Metabolomic Profiling of Blood Plasma in Females with Hyperplasia and Endometrial Cancer
by Hicham Benabdelkamel, Malak A. Jaber, Khalid Akkour, Reem H. AlMalki, Assim A. Alfadda, Afshan Masood, Salini Scaria Joy, Hani Alhalal, Moudi A. Alwehaibi, Maria Arafah, Eman Alshehri and Anas M. Abdel Rahman
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020109 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1396
Abstract
Uterine cancer is the most prevalent gynecologic malignancy in women worldwide. Endometrial cancer (EC) has an 81% five-year survival rate, depending on disease stage and time of diagnosis. While endometrial cancer is largely treatable when detected early, no established screening techniques are available [...] Read more.
Uterine cancer is the most prevalent gynecologic malignancy in women worldwide. Endometrial cancer (EC) has an 81% five-year survival rate, depending on disease stage and time of diagnosis. While endometrial cancer is largely treatable when detected early, no established screening techniques are available in clinical practice. As a result, one of the most significant issues in the medical field is the development of novel ways for early cancer identification, which could boost treatment success rates. Liquid chromatography–high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS)-based metabolomics was employed to explore the metabolomic markers and pathways unique to this cancer type and link them to the benign endometrial hyperplasia that may progress to cancer in 5% to 25% of patients. The study involved 59 postmenopausal participants, 20 with EC type 1, 20 with benign hyperplasia, and 19 healthy participants. Metabolite distribution changes were analyzed, and 338 of these features were dysregulated and significant. The first two main components, PC1 and PC2, were responsible for 11.5% and 12.2% of the total metabolites, respectively. Compared with the control group (CO), EC samples had 203 differentially expressed metabolites (180 upregulated and 23 downregulated); in hyperplasia (HP), 157 metabolites were dysregulated (127 upregulated and 30 downregulated) compared to the CO group while 21 metabolites exhibited differential regulation (16 upregulated and 5 downregulated) in EC plasma samples compared to the HP group. Hyperplasia samples exhibited similar metabolic changes to those reported in cancer, except for alterations in triglyceride levels, 7a,12 b-dihydroxy-5b-Cholan-24-oic acid, and Hept-2-enedioyl carnitine levels. The metabolites N-heptanoyl glycine and -(Methylthio)-2,3-isopentyl phosphate and formimino glutamic acid can be specific markers for hyperplasia conditions and dimethyl phosphatidyl ethanolamine and 8-isoprostaglandin E2 can be specific markers for EC conditions. Metabolic activities rely on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation for energy generation. The changes in metabolites identified in our study indicate that endometrial cancer cells adopt alternative strategies to increase energy production to meet the energy demand, thereby supporting proliferation. Full article
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20 pages, 924 KiB  
Review
Deciphering the Role of the Gut Microbiota in Exposure to Emerging Contaminants and Diabetes: A Review
by Xueqing Li, Huixia Niu, Zhengliang Huang, Man Zhang, Mingluan Xing, Zhijian Chen, Lizhi Wu and Peiwei Xu
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020108 - 06 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1421
Abstract
Emerging pollutants, a category of compounds currently not regulated or inadequately regulated by law, have recently become a focal point of research due to their potential toxic effects on human health. The gut microbiota plays a pivotal role in human health; it is [...] Read more.
Emerging pollutants, a category of compounds currently not regulated or inadequately regulated by law, have recently become a focal point of research due to their potential toxic effects on human health. The gut microbiota plays a pivotal role in human health; it is particularly susceptible to disruption and alteration upon exposure to a range of toxic environmental chemicals, including emerging contaminants. The disturbance of the gut microbiome caused by environmental pollutants may represent a mechanism through which environmental chemicals exert their toxic effects, a mechanism that is garnering increasing attention. However, the discussion on the toxic link between emerging pollutants and glucose metabolism remains insufficiently explored. This review aims to establish a connection between emerging pollutants and glucose metabolism through the gut microbiota, delving into the toxic impacts of these pollutants on glucose metabolism and the potential role played by the gut microbiota. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Effects of Environmental Exposure on Host and Microbial Metabolism)
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5 pages, 189 KiB  
Editorial
Metabolic Profiling of Aromatic Compounds
by Alisa K. Pautova
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020107 - 05 Feb 2024
Viewed by 915
Abstract
Metabolic profiling is a powerful modern tool in searching for novel biomarkers and indicators of normal or pathological processes in the body [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Profiling of Aromatic Compounds)
20 pages, 1330 KiB  
Article
Adipokines, Vitamin D, and Selected Inflammatory Biomarkers among Parkinson’s Disease Patients with and without Dyskinesia: A Preliminary Examination
by Jan Milanowski, Jarosław Nuszkiewicz, Beata Lisewska, Paweł Lisewski and Karolina Szewczyk-Golec
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020106 - 05 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1238
Abstract
Parkinson’s disease (PD), a widely recognized neurodegenerative disorder, is characterized by a spectrum of symptoms including motor fluctuations and dyskinesia. Neuroinflammation and dysregulation of adipokines are increasingly implicated in the progression of PD. This preliminary study investigated the levels of inflammatory biomarkers and [...] Read more.
Parkinson’s disease (PD), a widely recognized neurodegenerative disorder, is characterized by a spectrum of symptoms including motor fluctuations and dyskinesia. Neuroinflammation and dysregulation of adipokines are increasingly implicated in the progression of PD. This preliminary study investigated the levels of inflammatory biomarkers and adipokines, namely interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), C-reactive protein (CRP), visfatin, progranulin, and 25(OH)-vitamin D in 52 PD patients, divided equally between those with and without dyskinesia and 26 healthy controls. Significant differences in the levels of IL-6, TNF-α, visfatin, and progranulin were noted between the groups. Patients with dyskinesia exhibited notably higher IL-6 levels compared to controls, and TNF-α was significantly elevated in both PD patient groups relative to the control group. Additionally, visfatin levels were higher in PD patients without dyskinesia as opposed to those with dyskinesia, and progranulin levels were elevated in the non-dyskinetic PD group compared to controls. The findings highlight the potential role of the examined biomarkers in the pathophysiology of PD. Changes in levels of the tested inflammatory biomarkers and adipokines might be associated with Parkinson’s disease and its symptoms such as dyskinesia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Discovering Novel Biomarkers of Parkinson Disease)
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14 pages, 1158 KiB  
Article
Blood-Derived Metabolic Signatures as Biomarkers of Injury Severity in Traumatic Brain Injury: A Pilot Study
by Elani A. Bykowski, Jamie N. Petersson, Sean P. Dukelow, Chester Ho, Chantel T. Debert, Tony Montina and Gerlinde A. S. Metz
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020105 - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1329
Abstract
Metabolomic biomarkers hold promise in aiding the diagnosis and prognostication of traumatic brain injury. In Canada, over 165,000 individuals annually suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), making it one of the most prevalent neurological conditions. In this pilot investigation, we examined blood-derived [...] Read more.
Metabolomic biomarkers hold promise in aiding the diagnosis and prognostication of traumatic brain injury. In Canada, over 165,000 individuals annually suffer from a traumatic brain injury (TBI), making it one of the most prevalent neurological conditions. In this pilot investigation, we examined blood-derived biomarkers as proxy measures that can provide an objective approach to TBI diagnosis and monitoring. Using a 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based quantitative metabolic profiling approach, this study determined whether (1) blood-derived metabolites change during recovery in male participants with mild to severe TBI; (2) biological pathway analysis reflects mechanisms that mediate neural damage/repair throughout TBI recovery; and (3) changes in metabolites correlate to initial injury severity. Eight male participants with mild to severe TBI (with intracranial lesions) provided morning blood samples within 1–4 days and again 6 months post-TBI. Following NMR analysis, the samples were subjected to multivariate statistical and machine learning-based analyses. Statistical modelling displayed metabolic changes during recovery through group separation, and eight significant metabolic pathways were affected by TBI. Metabolic changes were correlated to injury severity. L-alanine (R= −0.63, p < 0.01) displayed a negative relationship with the Glasgow Coma Scale. This study provides pilot data to support the feasibility of using blood-derived metabolites to better understand changes in biochemistry following TBI. Full article
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17 pages, 2260 KiB  
Article
Influence of Heat Stress on Body Surface Temperature and Blood Metabolic, Endocrine, and Inflammatory Parameters and Their Correlation in Cows
by Bojan Blond, Mira Majkić, Jovan Spasojević, Slavča Hristov, Miodrag Radinović, Sandra Nikolić, Ljiljana Anđušić, Aleksandar Čukić, Maja Došenović Marinković, Biljana Delić Vujanović, Nemanja Obradović and Marko Cincović
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020104 - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1286
Abstract
This study aimed to determine whether heat stress affected the values and correlations of metabolic, endocrinological, and inflammatory parameters as well as the rectal and body surface temperature of cows in the early and middle stages of lactation. This experiment was conducted in [...] Read more.
This study aimed to determine whether heat stress affected the values and correlations of metabolic, endocrinological, and inflammatory parameters as well as the rectal and body surface temperature of cows in the early and middle stages of lactation. This experiment was conducted in May (thermoneutral period), June (mild heat stress), and July (moderate to severe heat stress). In each period we included 15 cows in early lactation and 15 in mid-lactation. The increase in rectal and body surface temperatures (°C) in moderate to severe heat stress compared to the thermoneutral period in different regions was significant (p < 0.01) and the results are presented as mean and [95%CI]: rectal + 0.9 [0.81–1.02], eye + 6 [5.74–6.25], ear + 13 [11.9–14.0], nose + 3.5 [3.22–3.71], forehead + 6.6 [6.43–6.75], whole head + 7.5 [7.36–7.68], abdomen + 8.5 [8.25–8.77], udder + 7.5 [7.38–7.65], front limb + 6 [5.89–6.12], hind limb + 3.6 [3.46–3.72], and whole body + 9 [8.80–9.21]. During heat stress (in both mild and moderate to severe stress compared to a thermoneutral period), an increase in the values of extracellular heat shock protein 70 (eHsp70), tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα), cortisol (CORT), insulin (INS), revised quantitative insulin sensitivity check index (RQUICKI), urea, creatinine, total bilirubin, aspartate transpaminase (AST), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), and creatin kinase (CK) occurred, as well as a decrease in the values of triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), glucose (GLU), β-Hydroxybutyrate (BHB), calcium, phosphorus, total protein (TPROT), albumin (ALB), triglycerides (TGCs), and cholesterol (CHOL). In cows in early lactation compared to cows in mid-lactation, there was a significantly larger increase (p < 0.01) in the values of eHsp70, TNFα, GLU, RQUICKI, and GGT, while the INS increase was smaller during the three experimental periods. The decrease in the values of Ca, CHOL, and TGC was more pronounced in cows in early lactation compared to cows in mid-lactation during the three experimental periods. Rectal temperature was related to eHsp70 (r = 0.38, p < 0.001) and TNFα (r = 0.36, p < 0.01) and showed non-significant poor correlations with other blood parameters. Blood parameters correlate with body surface temperature, with the following most common results: eHsp70 and TNFα showed a moderately to strongly significant positive correlation (r = 0.79–0.96, p < 0.001); CORT, INS, and Creat showed fairly to moderately significant positive correlations; T3, T4, NEFA and GLU showed fairly to moderately significant negative correlations (r = 0.3–0.79; p < 0.01); RQUICKI, urea, AST, and GGT showed fairly and significantly positive correlations; and TGC, CHOL, TPROT, and ALB showed fairly and significantly negative correlations (r = 0.3–0.59; p < 0.01). Measuring the surface temperature of the whole body or head can be a useful tool in evaluating the metabolic response of cows because it has demonstrated an association with inflammation (TNFα, eHsp70), endocrine response (CORT, T3, T4), the increased use of glucose and decreased use of lipids for energy purposes (INS, NEFA, GLU, and RQUICKI), and protein catabolism (ALB, TPROT, urea, Creat), which underlies thermolysis and thermogenesis in cows under heat stress. In future research, it is necessary to examine the causality between body surface area and metabolic parameters. Full article
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15 pages, 5569 KiB  
Article
Metabolic Responses of Lung Adenocarcinoma Cells to Survive under Stressful Conditions Associated with Tumor Microenvironment
by Angeles Carlos-Reyes, Susana Romero-Garcia and Heriberto Prado-Garcia
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020103 - 02 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1120
Abstract
Solid tumors frequently present a heterogeneous tumor microenvironment. Because tumors have the potential to proliferate quickly, the consequence is a reduction in the nutrients, a reduction in the pH (<6.8), and a hypoxic environment. Although it is often assumed that tumor clones show [...] Read more.
Solid tumors frequently present a heterogeneous tumor microenvironment. Because tumors have the potential to proliferate quickly, the consequence is a reduction in the nutrients, a reduction in the pH (<6.8), and a hypoxic environment. Although it is often assumed that tumor clones show a similar growth rate with little variations in nutrient consumption, the present study shows how growth-specific rate (µ), the specific rates of glucose, lactate, and glutamine consumption (qS), and the specific rates of lactate and glutamate production (qP) of 2D-cultured lung tumor cells are affected by changes in their environment. We determined in lung tumor cells (A427, A549, Calu-1, and SKMES-1) the above mentioned kinetic parameters during the exponential phase under different culture conditions, varying the predominant carbon source, pH, and oxygen tension. MCF-7 cells, a breast tumor cell line that can consume lactate, and non-transformed fibroblast cells (MRC-5) were included as controls. We also analyzed how cell-cycle progression and the amino acid transporter CD98 expression were affected. Our results show that: (1) In glucose presence, μ increased, but qS Glucose and qP Lactate decreased when tumor cells were cultured under acidosis as opposed to neutral conditions; (2) most lung cancer cell lines consumed lactate under normoxia or hypoxia; (3) although qS Glutamine diminished under hypoxia or acidosis, it slightly increased in lactate presence, a finding that was associated with CD98 upregulation; and (4) under acidosis, G0/G1 arrest was induced in A427 cancer cells, although this phenomenon was significantly increased when glucose was changed by lactate as the predominant carbon-source. Hence, our results provide an understanding of metabolic responses that tumor cells develop to survive under stressful conditions, providing clues for developing promising opportunities to improve traditional cancer therapies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Cancer Cell Metabolism (2nd Edition))
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12 pages, 2015 KiB  
Article
Metabolomics Reveals the Effects of Nitrogen/Phosphorus/Potassium (NPK) Fertilizer Levels on Cucumber Fruit Raised in Different Nutrient Soils
by Na-Rae Lee, Yangmin X. Kim, Yerim Lee, Chanwook Lee, Yosung Song, Hyejin Park, Choong Hwan Lee and Yejin Lee
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020102 - 01 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1016
Abstract
Fertilizers are widely used to improve the quality of fruits and vegetables. However, the overuse of fertilizers has become an issue because it causes environmental problems and negatively affects productivity and fruit quality. In this study, we examined the effects of nitrogen, phosphorus, [...] Read more.
Fertilizers are widely used to improve the quality of fruits and vegetables. However, the overuse of fertilizers has become an issue because it causes environmental problems and negatively affects productivity and fruit quality. In this study, we examined the effects of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (NPK) fertilizer levels on the metabolism of cucumber fruit in low- and high-nutrient soils using mass-spectrometry-based metabolomics approaches. Cucumber metabolite content was notably different depending on the initial soil nutrient status. Most amino acids and phenylpropanoids were abundant in the cucumbers raised in low-nutrient soil, whereas organic acids, some amino acids (aspartate, glutamate, and ornithine), and carbohydrates were comparatively higher in fruits from high-nutrient soil. The fertilizer supply resulted in an alteration in the metabolite profile, while no change in fruit yield was observed in either low- or high-nutrient soils. Fertilizer treatment perturbed the metabolite contents in cucumbers from low-nutrient soil. In contrast, treatment with higher concentrations of fertilizer in high-nutrient soil increased phenylpropanoid content in the cucumbers, while most metabolites decreased. In conclusion, fertilization levels should be carefully determined, considering culture conditions such as the original soil status, to increase product yield and fruit quality and avoid environmental problems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Food Metabolomics)
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Article
Fungal-Mediated Biotransformation of the Plant Growth Regulator Forchlorfenuron by Cunninghamella elegans
by Charles M. Moreno, Jaclyn N. Moreno, Matthew C. Valdez, Melinda P. Baldwin, Ana C. Vallor and Paulo B. Carvalho
Metabolites 2024, 14(2), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/metabo14020101 - 01 Feb 2024
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Abstract
The synthetic cytokinin forchlorfenuron (FCF), while seemingly presenting relatively low toxicity for mammalian organisms, has been the subject of renewed scrutiny in the past few years due to its increasing use in fruit crops and potential for bioaccumulation. Despite many toxicological properties of [...] Read more.
The synthetic cytokinin forchlorfenuron (FCF), while seemingly presenting relatively low toxicity for mammalian organisms, has been the subject of renewed scrutiny in the past few years due to its increasing use in fruit crops and potential for bioaccumulation. Despite many toxicological properties of FCF being known, little research has been conducted on the toxicological effects of its secondary metabolites. Given this critical gap in the existing literature, understanding the formation of relevant FCF secondary metabolites and their association with mammalian metabolism is essential. To investigate the formation of FCF metabolites in sufficient quantities for toxicological studies, a panel of four fungi were screened for their ability to catalyze the biotransformation of FCF. Of the organisms screened, Cunninghamella elegans (ATCC 9245), a filamentous fungus, was found to convert FCF to 4-hydroxyphenyl-forchlorfenuron, the major FCF secondary metabolite identified in mammals, after 26 days. Following the optimization of biotransformation conditions using a solid support system, media screening, and inoculation with a solid pre-formed fungal mass of C. elegans, this conversion time was significantly reduced to 7 days—representing a 73% reduction in total reaction time as deduced from the biotransformation products and confirmed by LC-MS, NMR spectroscopic data, as well as a comparison with synthetically prepared metabolites. Our study provides the first report of the metabolism of FCF by C. elegans. These findings suggest that C. elegans can produce FCF secondary metabolites consistent with those produced via mammalian metabolism and could be used as a more efficient, cost-effective, and ethical alternative for producing those metabolites in useful quantities for toxicological studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cell Metabolism)
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