Metabolomics study of alcohol-induced liver injury and hepatocellular carcinoma xenografts in mice

Shangfu Li, Hongxia Liu*, Yibao Jin, Shuhai LIN, Zongwei CAI, Yuyang Jiang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Alcohol abuse is one of the major causes of liver injury and a promoter for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To understand the disease-associated metabolic changes, we investigated and compared the profiles of metabolites in nude mice with alcohol-induced liver injury or bearing a HCC xenograft (HCCX). Alcohol-induced liver injury was achieved by daily administration of grain liquor, and HCC xenografts were generated by subcutaneous inoculation of HepG2 cells in nude mice. Metabolites in serum samples were profiled by ultra-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC/Q-TOF MS). The acquired data was analyzed by principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) to identify potential disease-specific biomarkers. Results showed that the phosphatidylcholine (PC) levels were significantly higher in both liver injury and HCCX mice compared with the control. Interestingly, lysophosphatidylcholines (LPCs) that contain saturated or monounsaturated fatty acids were reduced in both liver injury and HCCX mice, but polyunsaturated fatty acids LPCs were elevated in liver injury mice only. These data delineated the disease-related metabolic alterations of LPCs in liver injury and HCC, suggesting that the LPC profile in serum may be biomarkers for these two common liver diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2369-2375
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Alcohol liver injury
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma xenograft
  • Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
  • Metabolomics
  • Phospholipid


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