Dominant components of the Thoroughbred metabolome characterised by 1H‐NMR spectroscopy: a metabolite atlas of common biofluids

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Escalona, E. E. ; Leng, J. ; Dona, A. C. ; Merrifield, C. A. ; Holmes, E. ; Proudman, C. J. ; Swann, J. R. (2015)

Summary\ud \ud Reasons for performing study: Metabonomics is emerging as a powerful tool for disease screening and investigating mammalian metabolism. This study aims to create a metabolic framework by producing a preliminary reference guide for the normal equine metabolic milieu.\ud \ud Objectives: To metabolically profile plasma, urine and faecal water from healthy racehorses using high resolution 1H-NMR spectroscopy and to provide a list of dominant metabolites present in each biofluid for the benefit of future research in this area.\ud \ud Study design: This study was performed using seven Thoroughbreds in race training at a single time-point. Urine and faecal samples were collected non-invasively and plasma was obtained from samples taken for routine clinical chemistry purposes.\ud \ud Methods: Biofluids were analysed using 1H-NMR spectroscopy. Metabolite assignment was achieved via a range of 1D and 2D experiments.\ud \ud Results: A total of 102 metabolites were assigned across the three biological matrices. A core metabonome of 14 metabolites was ubiquitous across all biofluids. All biological matrices provided a unique window on different aspects of systematic metabolism. Urine was the most populated metabolite matrix with 65 identified metabolites, 39 of which were unique to this biological compartment. A number of these were related to gut microbial host co-metabolism. Faecal samples were the most metabolically variable between animals; acetate was responsible for the majority (28%) of this variation. Short chain fatty acids were the predominant features identified within this biofluid by 1H-NMR spectroscopy.\ud \ud Conclusions: Metabonomics provides a platform for investigating complex and dynamic interactions between the host and its consortium of gut microbes and has the potential to uncover markers for health and disease in a variety of biofluids. Inherent variation in faecal extracts along with the relative abundance of microbial-mammalian metabolites in urine and invasive nature of plasma sampling, infers that urine is the most appropriate biofluid for the purposes of metabonomic analysis.
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