Cross-sectional studies have suggested that serum omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are related to favorable lipoprotein particle concentrations. We explored the associations of serum n-3 and n-6 PUFAs with lipoprotein particle concentrations and sizes in a general population cohort at baseline and after 6 years.
The cohort included 665 adults (274 men) with a 6-year follow-up. Nutritional counseling was given at baseline. Serum n-3 and n-6 PUFAs and lipoprotein particle concentrations and the mean particle sizes of VLDL, LDL, and HDL were quantified by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy for all baseline and follow-up samples at the same time. Concentrations of n-3 and n-6 PUFAs were expressed relative to total fatty acids. At baseline, n-3 PUFAs were not associated with lipoprotein particle concentrations. A weak negative association was observed for VLDL (P = 0.021) and positive for HDL (P = 0.011) particle size. n-6 PUFA was negatively associated with VLDL particle concentration and positively with LDL (P < 0.001) and HDL particle size (P < 0.001). The 6-year change in n-3 PUFA correlated positively with the change in particle size for HDL and LDL lipoproteins but negatively with VLDL particle size. An increase in 6-year levels of n-6 PUFAs was negatively correlated with the change in VLDL particle concentration and size, and positively with LDL particle size.
Change in circulating levels of both n-3 and n-6 PUFAs, relative to total fatty acids, during 6 years of follow-up are associated with changes in lipoprotein particle size and concentrations at the population level.
Lipoprotein profile; Fatty acid; Cohort study
Background: Berries are associated with health benefits. Little is known about the effect of baseline metabolome on the overall metabolic responses to berry intake.
Objective: We studied the effects of berries on serum metabolome.
Design: Eighty overweight women completed this randomized crossover study. During the interventions of 30 d, subjects consumed dried sea buckthorn berries (SBs), sea buckthorn oil (SBo), sea buckthorn phenolics ethanol extract mixed with maltodextrin (SBe+MD) (1:1), or frozen bilberries. Metabolic profiles were quantified from serum samples by using 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.
Results: All interventions induced a significant (P < 0.001–0.003) effect on the overall metabolic profiles. The effect was observed both in participants who had a metabolic profile that reflected higher cardiometabolic risk at baseline (group B: P = 0.001–0.008) and in participants who had a lower-risk profile (group A: P < 0.001–0.009). Although most of the changes in individual metabolites were not statistically significant after correction for multiplicity, clear trends were observed. SB-induced effects were mainly on serum triglycerides and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and its subclasses, which decreased in metabolic group B. SBo induced a decreasing trend in serum total, intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and subfractions of IDL and LDL in group B. During the SBe+MD treatment, VLDL fractions and serum triglycerides increased. Bilberries caused beneficial changes in serum lipids and lipoproteins in group B, whereas the opposite was true in group A.
Conclusion: Berry intake has overall metabolic effects, which depend on the cardiometabolic risk profile at baseline. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01860547.
Metabolite predictors of deteriorating glucose tolerance may elucidate the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. We investigated associations of circulating metabolites from high-throughput profiling with fasting and postload glycemia cross-sectionally and prospectively on the population level.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Oral glucose tolerance was assessed in two Finnish, population-based studies consisting of 1,873 individuals (mean age 52 years, 58% women) and reexamined after 6.5 years for 618 individuals in one of the cohorts. Metabolites were quantified by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy from fasting serum samples. Associations were studied by linear regression models adjusted for established risk factors.
Nineteen circulating metabolites, including amino acids, gluconeogenic substrates, and fatty acid measures, were cross-sectionally associated with fasting and/or postload glucose (P < 0.001). Among these metabolic intermediates, branched-chain amino acids, phenylalanine, and α1-acid glycoprotein were predictors of both fasting and 2-h glucose at 6.5-year follow-up (P < 0.05), whereas alanine, lactate, pyruvate, and tyrosine were uniquely associated with 6.5-year postload glucose (P = 0.003–0.04). None of the fatty acid measures were prospectively associated with glycemia. Changes in fatty acid concentrations were associated with changes in fasting and postload glycemia during follow-up; however, changes in branched-chain amino acids did not follow glucose dynamics, and gluconeogenic substrates only paralleled changes in fasting glucose.
Alterations in branched-chain and aromatic amino acid metabolism precede hyperglycemia in the general population. Further, alanine, lactate, and pyruvate were predictive of postchallenge glucose exclusively. These gluconeogenic precursors are potential markers of long-term impaired insulin sensitivity that may relate to attenuated glucose tolerance later in life.
We investigated the association of glycemia and 43 genetic risk variants for hyperglycemia/type 2 diabetes with amino acid levels in the population-based Metabolic Syndrome in Men (METSIM) Study, including 9,369 nondiabetic or newly diagnosed type 2 diabetic Finnish men. Plasma levels of eight amino acids were measured with proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Increasing fasting and 2-h plasma glucose levels were associated with increasing levels of several amino acids and decreasing levels of histidine and glutamine. Alanine, leucine, isoleucine, tyrosine, and glutamine predicted incident type 2 diabetes in a 4.7-year follow-up of the METSIM Study, and their effects were largely mediated by insulin resistance (except for glutamine). We also found significant correlations between insulin sensitivity (Matsuda insulin sensitivity index) and mRNA expression of genes regulating amino acid degradation in 200 subcutaneous adipose tissue samples. Only 1 of 43 risk single nucleotide polymorphisms for type 2 diabetes or hyperglycemia, the glucose-increasing major C allele of rs780094 of GCKR, was significantly associated with decreased levels of alanine and isoleucine and elevated levels of glutamine. In conclusion, the levels of branched-chain, aromatic amino acids and alanine increased and the levels of glutamine and histidine decreased with increasing glycemia, reflecting, at least in part, insulin resistance. Only one single nucleotide polymorphism regulating hyperglycemia was significantly associated with amino acid levels.
Metabolite associations with insulin resistance were studied in 7,098 young Finns (age 31 ± 3 years; 52% women) to elucidate underlying metabolic pathways. Insulin resistance was assessed by the homeostasis model (HOMA-IR) and circulating metabolites quantified by high-throughput nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in two population-based cohorts. Associations were analyzed using regression models adjusted for age, waist, and standard lipids. Branched-chain and aromatic amino acids, gluconeogenesis intermediates, ketone bodies, and fatty acid composition and saturation were associated with HOMA-IR (P < 0.0005 for 20 metabolite measures). Leu, Ile, Val, and Tyr displayed sex- and obesity-dependent interactions, with associations being significant for women only if they were abdominally obese. Origins of fasting metabolite levels were studied with dietary and physical activity data. Here, protein energy intake was associated with Val, Phe, Tyr, and Gln but not insulin resistance index. We further tested if 12 genetic variants regulating the metabolites also contributed to insulin resistance. The genetic determinants of metabolite levels were not associated with HOMA-IR, with the exception of a variant in GCKR associated with 12 metabolites, including amino acids (P < 0.0005). Nonetheless, metabolic signatures extending beyond obesity and lipid abnormalities reflected the degree of insulin resistance evidenced in young, normoglycemic adults with sex-specific fingerprints.
Adults born preterm at very low birth weight (VLBW ≤ 1500g) have increased risk factors for cardiovascular diseases including high blood pressure and impaired glucose regulation. Non-optimal lipoprotein profile is generally also likely to affect the increased cardiovascular risk, but lipoprotein subclass level data on adults born at VLBW are sparse.
Subjects and methods
We studied 162 subjects born at VLBW and 169 term-born controls, aged 19 to 27 years. Total lipid, triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations of 14 lipoprotein subclasses were determined by proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in the fasting state and in 2-hour serum samples from an oral glucose tolerance test.
In comparison to controls, VLBW subjects had significantly higher fasting concentration of triglycerides in chylomicrons and largest very-low-density lipoprotein particles [XXL-VLDL-TG, difference 0.026 (95% CI: 0.004 to 0.049), P = 0.024], and of triglycerides in small high-density lipoprotein particles [S-HDL-TG, 0.026 (95% CI: 0.002 to 0.051), P = 0.037]. The seemingly important role of triglycerides was further supported by principal component analysis in which the first component was characterized by multiple lipoprotein triglyceride measures.
Young adults born at VLBW and their peers born at term had triglyceride-related differences in both VLDL and HDL subclasses. These differences suggest that the increased risk factors for cardiovascular diseases among the VLBW individuals in adulthood may partly relate to impaired triglyceride metabolism.
Very low birth weight; Prematurity; Lipoprotein; Lipids; Subclass
Nuclear magnetic resonance assays allow for measurement of a wide range of metabolic phenotypes. We report here the results of a GWAS on 8,330 Finnish individuals genotyped and imputed at 7.7 million SNPs for a range of 216 serum metabolic phenotypes assessed by NMR of serum samples. We identified significant associations (P < 2.31 × 10−10) at 31 loci, including 11 for which there have not been previous reports of associations to a metabolic trait or disorder. Analyses of Finnish twin pairs suggested that the metabolic measures reported here show higher heritability than comparable conventional metabolic phenotypes. In accordance with our expectations, SNPs at the 31 loci associated with individual metabolites account for a greater proportion of the genetic component of trait variance (up to 40%) than is typically observed for conventional serum metabolic phenotypes. The identification of such associations may provide substantial insight into cardiometabolic disorders.
Concentrations of liver enzymes in plasma are widely used as indicators of liver disease. We carried out a genome-wide association study in 61,089 individuals, identifying 42 loci associated with concentrations of liver enzymes in plasma, of which 32 are new associations (P = 10−8 to P = 10−190). We used functional genomic approaches including metabonomic profiling and gene expression analyses to identify probable candidate genes at these regions. We identified 69 candidate genes, including genes involved in biliary transport (ATP8B1 and ABCB11), glucose, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism (FADS1, FADS2, GCKR, JMJD1C, HNF1A, MLXIPL, PNPLA3, PPP1R3B, SLC2A2 and TRIB1), glycoprotein biosynthesis and cell surface glycobiology (ABO, ASGR1, FUT2, GPLD1 and ST3GAL4), inflammation and immunity (CD276, CDH6, GCKR, HNF1A, HPR, ITGA1, RORA and STAT4) and glutathione metabolism (GSTT1, GSTT2 and GGT), as well as several genes of uncertain or unknown function (including ABHD12, EFHD1, EFNA1, EPHA2, MICAL3 and ZNF827). Our results provide new insight into genetic mechanisms and pathways influencing markers of liver function.
Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have identified several susceptibility loci for metabolic syndrome (MetS) component traits, but have had variable success in identifying susceptibility loci to the syndrome as an entity. We conducted a GWA study on MetS and its component traits in four Finnish cohorts consisting of 2637 MetS cases and 7927 controls, both free of diabetes, and followed the top loci in an independent sample with transcriptome and NMR-based metabonomics data. Furthermore, we tested for loci associated with multiple MetS component traits using factor analysis and built a genetic risk score for MetS.
Methods and Results
A previously known lipid locus, APOA1/C3/A4/A5 gene cluster region (SNP rs964184), was associated with MetS in all four study samples (P=7.23×10−9 in meta-analysis). The association was further supported by serum metabolite analysis, where rs964184 associated with various VLDL, TG, and HDL metabolites (P=0.024-1.88×10−5). Twenty-two previously identified susceptibility loci for individual MetS component traits were replicated in our GWA and factor analysis. Most of these associated with lipid phenotypes and none with two or more uncorrelated MetS components. A genetic risk score, calculated as the number of alleles in loci associated with individual MetS traits, was strongly associated with MetS status.
Our findings suggest that genes from lipid metabolism pathways have the key role in the genetic background of MetS. We found little evidence for pleiotropy linking dyslipidemia and obesity to the other MetS component traits such as hypertension and glucose intolerance.
metabolic syndrome; risk factors; genome-wide association study; meta-analysis; lipids
Association testing of multiple correlated phenotypes offers better power than univariate analysis of single traits. We analyzed 6,600 individuals from two population-based cohorts with both genome-wide SNP data and serum metabolomic profiles. From the observed correlation structure of 130 metabolites measured by nuclear magnetic resonance, we identified 11 metabolic networks and performed a multivariate genome-wide association analysis. We identified 34 genomic loci at genome-wide significance, of which 7 are novel. In comparison to univariate tests, multivariate association analysis identified nearly twice as many significant associations in total. Multi-tissue gene expression studies identified variants in our top loci, SERPINA1 and AQP9, as eQTLs and showed that SERPINA1 and AQP9 expression in human blood was associated with metabolites from their corresponding metabolic networks. Finally, liver expression of AQP9 was associated with atherosclerotic lesion area in mice, and in human arterial tissue both SERPINA1 and AQP9 were shown to be upregulated (6.3-fold and 4.6-fold, respectively) in atherosclerotic plaques. Our study illustrates the power of multi-phenotype GWAS and highlights candidate genes for atherosclerosis.
In this study, we aim to identify novel genetic variants for metabolism, characterize their effects on nearby genes, and show that the nearby genes are associated with metabolism and atherosclerosis. To discover new genetic variants, we use an alternative approach to traditional genome-wide association studies: we leverage the information in phenotype covariance to increase our statistical power. We identify variants at seven novel loci and then show that our top signals drive expression of nearby genes AQP9 and SERPINA1 in multiple tissues. We demonstrate that AQP9 and SERPINA1 gene expression, in turn, is associated with metabolite levels. Finally, we show that the genes are associated with atherosclerosis using mouse atherosclerotic lesion size (AQP9) as well as tissue from healthy human arteries and atherosclerotic plaques (AQP9 and SERPINA1). This study illustrates that multivariate analysis of correlated metabolites can boost power for gene discovery substantially. Further functional work will need to be performed to elucidate the biological role of SERPINA1 and AQP9 in atherosclerosis.
Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified a variant rs7575840 in the apolipoprotein B (APOB) gene region to be associated with LDL-C. However, the underlying functional mechanism of this variant that resides 6.5 kb upstream of APOB has remained unknown. Our objective was to investigate rs7575840 for association with refined apoB containing lipid particles; for replication in a non-Caucasian Mexican population; and for underlying functional mechanism.
Methods and Results
Our data show that rs7575840 is associated with serum apoB levels (P=4.85×10−10) and apoB containing lipid particles, very small VLDL, IDL and LDL particles (P=2×10−5 - 9×10−7) in the Finnish METSIM study sample (n=7,710). Fine mapping of the APOB region using 43 SNPs replicated the association of rs7575840 with apoB in a Mexican study sample (n=2,666, P=3.33×10−05). Furthermore, our transcript analyses of adipose RNA samples from 175 Finnish METSIM subjects indicate that rs7575840 alters expression of APOB (P=1.13×10−10) and a regional non-coding RNA (BU630349) (P=7.86×10−6) in adipose tissue.
It has been difficult to convert GWAS associations into mechanistic insights. Our data show that rs7575840 is associated with serum apoB levels and apoB containing lipid particles as well as influences expression of APOB and a regional transcript BU630349 in adipose tissue. We thus provide evidence how a common genome-wide significant SNP rs7575840 may affect serum apoB, LDL-C, and TC levels.
Apolipoprotein B; association analysis; gene expression; adipose tissue; Mexicans
We investigated the effects of 34 genetic risk variants for hyperglycemia/type 2 diabetes on lipoprotein subclasses and particle composition in a large population-based cohort.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
The study included 6,580 nondiabetic Finnish men from the population-based Metabolic Syndrome in Men (METSIM) study (aged 57 ± 7 years; BMI 26.8 ± 3.7 kg/m2). Genotyping of 34 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) for hyperglycemia/type 2 diabetes was performed. Proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was used to measure particle concentrations of 14 lipoprotein subclasses and their composition in native serum samples.
The glucose-increasing allele of rs780094 in GCKR was significantly associated with low concentrations of VLDL particles (independently of their size) and small LDL and was nominally associated with low concentrations of intermediate-density lipoprotein, all LDL subclasses, and high concentrations of very large and large HDL particles. The glucose-increasing allele of rs174550 in FADS1 was significantly associated with high concentrations of very large and large HDL particles and nominally associated with low concentrations of all VLDL particles. SNPs rs10923931 in NOTCH2 and rs757210 in HNF1B genes showed nominal or significant associations with several lipoprotein traits. The genetic risk score of 34 SNPs was not associated with any of the lipoprotein subclasses.
Four of the 34 risk loci for type 2 diabetes or hyperglycemia (GCKR, FADS1, NOTCH2, and HNF1B) were significantly associated with lipoprotein traits. A GCKR variant predominantly affected the concentration of VLDL, and the FADS1 variant affected very large and large HDL particles. Only a limited number of risk loci for hyperglycemia/type 2 diabetes significantly affect lipoprotein metabolism.
Recent genome-wide association (GWA) studies described 95 loci controlling serum lipid levels. These common variants explain ∼25% of the heritability of the phenotypes. To date, no unbiased screen for gene–environment interactions for circulating lipids has been reported. We screened for variants that modify the relationship between known epidemiological risk factors and circulating lipid levels in a meta-analysis of genome-wide association (GWA) data from 18 population-based cohorts with European ancestry (maximum N = 32,225). We collected 8 further cohorts (N = 17,102) for replication, and rs6448771 on 4p15 demonstrated genome-wide significant interaction with waist-to-hip-ratio (WHR) on total cholesterol (TC) with a combined P-value of 4.79×10−9. There were two potential candidate genes in the region, PCDH7 and CCKAR, with differential expression levels for rs6448771 genotypes in adipose tissue. The effect of WHR on TC was strongest for individuals carrying two copies of G allele, for whom a one standard deviation (sd) difference in WHR corresponds to 0.19 sd difference in TC concentration, while for A allele homozygous the difference was 0.12 sd. Our findings may open up possibilities for targeted intervention strategies for people characterized by specific genomic profiles. However, more refined measures of both body-fat distribution and metabolic measures are needed to understand how their joint dynamics are modified by the newly found locus.
Circulating serum lipids contribute greatly to the global health by affecting the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Serum lipid levels are partly inherited, and already 95 loci affecting high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides have been found. Serum lipids are also known to be affected by multiple epidemiological risk factors like body composition, lifestyle, and sex. It has been hypothesized that there are loci modifying the effects between risk factors and serum lipids, but to date only candidate gene studies for interactions have been reported. We conducted a genome-wide screen with meta-analysis approach to identify loci having interactions with epidemiological risk factors on serum lipids with over 30,000 population-based samples. When combining results from our initial datasets and 8 additional replication cohorts (maximum N = 17,102), we found a genome-wide significant locus in chromosome 4p15 with a joint P-value of 4.79×10−9 modifying the effect of waist-to-hip ratio on total cholesterol. In the area surrounding this genetic variant, there were two genes having association between the genotypes and the gene expression in adipose tissue, and we also found enrichment of association in genes belonging to lipid metabolism related functions.
Variations in the pattern of molecular associations are observed during disease development. The comprehensive analysis of molecular association patterns and their changes in relation to different physiological conditions can yield insight into the biological basis of disease-specific phenotype variation.
Here, we introduce a formal statistical method for the differential analysis of molecular associations via network representation. We illustrate our approach with extensive data on lipoprotein subclasses measured by NMR spectroscopy in 4,406 individuals with normal fasting glucose, and 531 subjects with impaired fasting glucose (prediabetes). We estimate the pair-wise association between measures using shrinkage estimates of partial correlations and build the differential network based on this measure of association. We explore the topological properties of the inferred network to gain insight into important metabolic differences between individuals with normal fasting glucose and prediabetes.
Differential networks provide new insights characterizing differences in biological states. Based on conventional statistical methods, few differences in concentration levels of lipoprotein subclasses were found between individuals with normal fasting glucose and individuals with prediabetes. By performing the differential analysis of networks, several characteristic changes in lipoprotein metabolism known to be related to diabetic dyslipidemias were identified. The results demonstrate the applicability of the new approach to identify key molecular changes inaccessible to standard approaches.
Diabetic kidney disease, diagnosed by urinary albumin excretion rate (AER), is a critical symptom of chronic vascular injury in diabetes, and is associated with dyslipidemia and increased mortality. We investigated serum lipids in 326 subjects with type 1 diabetes: 56% of patients had normal AER, 17% had microalbuminuria (20 ≤ AER < 200 μg/min or 30 ≤ AER < 300 mg/24 h) and 26% had overt kidney disease (macroalbuminuria AER ≥ 200 μg/min or AER ≥ 300 mg/24 h). Lipoprotein subclass lipids and low-molecular-weight metabolites were quantified from native serum, and individual lipid species from the lipid extract of the native sample, using a proton NMR metabonomics platform. Sphingomyelin (odds ratio 2.53, P < 10−7), large VLDL cholesterol (odds ratio 2.36, P < 10−10), total triglycerides (odds ratio 1.88, P < 10−6), omega-9 and saturated fatty acids (odds ratio 1.82, P < 10−5), glucose disposal rate (odds ratio 0.44, P < 10−9), large HDL cholesterol (odds ratio 0.39, P < 10−9) and glomerular filtration rate (odds ratio 0.19, P < 10−10) were associated with kidney disease. No associations were found for polyunsaturated fatty acids or phospholipids. Sphingomyelin was a significant regressor of urinary albumin (P < 0.0001) in multivariate analysis with kidney function, glycemic control, body mass, blood pressure, triglycerides and HDL cholesterol. Kidney injury, sphingolipids and excess fatty acids have been linked in animal models—our exploratory approach provides independent support for this relationship in human patients with diabetes.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11306-011-0343-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Diabetic nephropathy; NMR metabonomics; Fatty acids; Sphingolipids; Phospholipids; Lipoprotein subclasses
A protocol for determination of oxidation susceptibility of serum lipids based on proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectroscopy is presented and compared to the commonly used spectrophotometric method. Even though there are methodological differences between these two methods, the NMR-based oxidation susceptibility correlates well (r2 = 0.73) with the lag time determined spectrophotometrically. In addition to the oxidizability of serum lipids, the NMR method provides also information about the lipid profile. The NMR oxidation assay was applied to the chocolate study including fasting serum samples (n = 45) from subjects who had consumed white (WC), dark (DC) or high-polyphenol chocolate (HPC) daily for 3 weeks. The oxidation susceptibility of serum lipids decreased in the HPC group, and there was a significant difference between the WC and HPC groups (P = 0.031). According to the random forest analysis, the consumption of the HPC chocolate induced changes to the amounts of HDL, phosphatidylcholine, sphingomyelin, and nervonic, docosahexaenoic and myristic acids. Furthermore, arachidonic, docosahexaenoic, docosapentaenoic and palmitic acids, gamma-glutamyl transferase, hemoglobin, HDL, phosphatidylcholine and choline containing phospholipids explained about 60% of the oxidation susceptibility values.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11306-011-0323-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Oxidation susceptibility; 1H NMR spectroscopy; Copper induced oxidation; Serum; Chocolate; Random forest
The lipid–leukocyte (LL) module is associated with, and reactive to, a wide variety of serum metabolites.The LL module appears to be a link between metabolism, adiposity, and inflammation.Serum metabolite concentrations themselves determine the connectedness of LL module.
Comprehensive characterization of human tissues promises novel insights into the biological architecture of human diseases and traits. We assessed metabonomic, transcriptomic, and genomic variation for a large population-based cohort from the capital region of Finland. Network analyses identified a set of highly correlated genes, the lipid–leukocyte (LL) module, as having a prominent role in over 80 serum metabolites (of 134 measures quantified), including lipoprotein subclasses, lipids, and amino acids. Concurrent association with immune response markers suggested the LL module as a possible link between inflammation, metabolism, and adiposity. Further, genomic variation was used to generate a directed network and infer LL module's largely reactive nature to metabolites. Finally, gene co-expression in circulating leukocytes was shown to be dependent on serum metabolite concentrations, providing evidence for the hypothesis that the coherence of molecular networks themselves is conditional on environmental factors. These findings show the importance and opportunity of systematic molecular investigation of human population samples. To facilitate and encourage this investigation, the metabonomic, transcriptomic, and genomic data used in this study have been made available as a resource for the research community.
bioinformatics; biological networks; integrative genomics; metabonomics; transcriptomics
Subtle metabolic changes precede and accompany chronic vascular complications, which are the primary causes of premature death in diabetes. To obtain a multimetabolite characterization of these high-risk individuals, we measured proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) data from the serum of 613 patients with type I diabetes and a diverse spread of complications. We developed a new metabonomics framework to visualize and interpret the data and to link the metabolic profiles to the underlying diagnostic and biochemical variables. Our results indicate complex interactions between diabetic kidney disease, insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. We illustrate how a single 1H NMR protocol is able to identify the polydiagnostic metabolite manifold of type I diabetes and how its alterations translate to clinical phenotypes, clustering of micro- and macrovascular complications, and mortality during several years of follow-up. This work demonstrates the diffuse nature of complex vascular diseases and the limitations of single diagnostic biomarkers. However, it also promises cost-effective solutions through high-throughput analytics and advanced computational methods, as applied here in a case that is representative of the real clinical situation.
1H NMR spectroscopy; biomarkers; metabonomics; serum; type I diabetes
A key challenge in metabonomics is to uncover quantitative associations between multidimensional spectroscopic data and biochemical measures used for disease risk assessment and diagnostics. Here we focus on clinically relevant estimation of lipoprotein lipids by 1H NMR spectroscopy of serum.
A Bayesian methodology, with a biochemical motivation, is presented for a real 1H NMR metabonomics data set of 75 serum samples. Lipoprotein lipid concentrations were independently obtained for these samples via ultracentrifugation and specific biochemical assays. The Bayesian models were constructed by Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) and they showed remarkably good quantitative performance, the predictive R-values being 0.985 for the very low density lipoprotein triglycerides (VLDL-TG), 0.787 for the intermediate, 0.943 for the low, and 0.933 for the high density lipoprotein cholesterol (IDL-C, LDL-C and HDL-C, respectively). The modelling produced a kernel-based reformulation of the data, the parameters of which coincided with the well-known biochemical characteristics of the 1H NMR spectra; particularly for VLDL-TG and HDL-C the Bayesian methodology was able to clearly identify the most characteristic resonances within the heavily overlapping information in the spectra. For IDL-C and LDL-C the resulting model kernels were more complex than those for VLDL-TG and HDL-C, probably reflecting the severe overlap of the IDL and LDL resonances in the 1H NMR spectra.
The systematic use of Bayesian MCMC analysis is computationally demanding. Nevertheless, the combination of high-quality quantification and the biochemical rationale of the resulting models is expected to be useful in the field of metabonomics.