Junsang Oh, Jayoung Kim, Sanghak Lee, Gyubin Park, Kei-Anne Garcia Baritugo, Ki Jun Han, Sangheun Lee, Gi-Ho Sung

1H NMR Serum Metabolomic Change of Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) Is Associated with Alcoholic Liver Disease Progression

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Without early detection and treatment, chronic and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to the development of alcoholic liver disease (ALD). With this in mind, we exploit the recent concept of the liver–gut axis and analyze the serum profile of ALD patients for identification of microbiome-derived metabolites that can be used as diagnostic biomarkers for onset of ALD. 1H-NMR was used to analyze serum metabolites of 38 ALD patients that were grouped according to their Child–Turcotte–Pugh scores (CTP): class A (CTP-A; 19), class B(CTP-B; 10), and class C (CTP-C; 9). A partial least squares-discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) and a variable importance of projection (VIP) score were used to identify significant metabolites. A receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and correlation heatmap were used to evaluate the predictability of identified metabolites as ALD biomarkers. Among 42 identified metabolites, 6 were significantly correlated to exacerbation of ALD. As ALD progressed in CTP-C, the levels of trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), malate, tyrosine, and 2-hydroxyisovalerate increased, while isobutyrate and isocitrate decreased. Out of six metabolites, elevated levels of TMAO and its precursors (carnitine, betaine, choline) were associated with severity of ALD. This indicates that TMAO can be used as an effective biomarker for the diagnosis of ALD progression.

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