Metabolite profiling of plasma and urine from rats with TNBS-induced acute colitis using UPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS-based metabonomics - A pilot study

Xiaojun Zhang, Franky F.K. Choi, Yan Zhou, Fung Ping LEUNG, Shun Tan, Shuhai LIN, Hongxi Xu, Wei JIA, Joseph J.Y. Sung, Zongwei CAI, Zhaoxiang BIAN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease, a relapsing intestinal condition whose precise etiology is still unclear, has continually increased over recent years. Metabolic profiling is an effective method with high sample throughput that can detect and identify potential biomarkers, and thus may be useful in investigating the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. In this study, using a metabonomics approach, a pilot study based on ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-ESI-QTOFMS) was performed to characterize the metabolic profile of plasma and urine samples of rats with experimental colitis induced by 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid. Acquired metabolic profile data were processed by multivariate data analysis for differentiation and screening of potential biomarkers. Five metabolites were identified in urine: two tryptophan metabolites [4-(2-aminophenyl)-2,4-dioxobutanoic acid and 4,6-cihydroxyquinoline], two gut microbial metabolites (phenyl-acetylglycine and p-cresol glucuronide), and the bile acid 12α-hydroxy-3-oxocholadienic acid. Seven metabolites were identified in plasma: three members of the bile acid ? alcohol group (cholic acid, 12a-hydroxy-3-oxocholadienic acid and cholestane- 3,7,12,24,25-pentol) and four lysophosphatidylcholines [LysoPC(20:4), LysoPC( 16:0), LysoPC(18:1) and LysoPC(18:0)]. These metabolites are associated with damage of the intestinal barrier function, microbiota homeostasis, immune modulation and the inflammatory response, and play important roles in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. Our results positively support application of the metabonomic approach in study of the pathophysiological mechanism of inflammatory bowel disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2322-2338
Number of pages17
JournalFEBS Journal
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Experimental inflammatory bowel disease
  • Metabonomics
  • Ultra-performance liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry


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