Metabolic variations occur during normal pregnancy to provide the growing fetus with a supply of nutrients required for its development and to ensure the health of the woman during gestation. Mass spectrometry-based metabolomics was employed to study the metabolic phenotype variations in the maternal plasma that are induced by pregnancy in each of its three trimesters. Nontargeted metabolomics analysis showed that pregnancy significantly altered the profile of metabolites in maternal plasma. The levels of six metabolites were found to change significantly throughout pregnancy, with related metabolic pathway variations observed in biopterin metabolism, phospholipid metabolism, amino acid derivatives, and fatty acid oxidation. In particular, there was a pronounced elevation of dihydrobiopterin (BH2), a compound produced in the synthesis of dopa, dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine, in the second trimester, whereas it was markedly decreased in the third trimester. The turnover of BH2 and tryptophan catabolites indicated that the fluctuations of neurotransmitters throughout pregnancy might reveal the metabolic adaption in the maternal body for the growth of the fetus. Furthermore, 11 lipid classes and 41 carnitine species were also determined and this showed variations in the presence of long-chain acylcarnitines and lysophospholipids in later pregnancy, suggesting changes of acylcarnitines and lysophospholipids to meet the energy demands in pregnant women. To our knowledge, this work is the first report of dynamic metabolic signatures and proposed related metabolic pathways in the maternal plasma for normal pregnancies and provided the basis for time-dependent metabolic trajectory against which disease-related disorders may be contrasted.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Proteome Research|
|Publication status||Published - 7 Mar 2014|
Scopus Subject Areas
- maternal plasma
- metabolic phenotype