Metabolomic analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from cystic fibrosis patients

Biomarkers. 2009 Feb;14(1):55-60. doi: 10.1080/13547500802688194.


Metabolite profiles of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from pediatric patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) were correlated to the degree of airway inflammation using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy-based metabolomics. BALF was collected from 11 children with CF during clinically indicated bronchoscopy. The spectra from BALF with high levels of neutrophilic airway inflammation displayed signals from numerous metabolites, whereas the spectra from subjects with low levels of inflammation were very sparse. The metabolites identified in samples taken from subjects with high inflammation include known markers of inflammation such as amino acids and lactate, as well as many novel signals. Statistical analysis highlighted the most important metabolites that distinguished the high- from the low-inflammation groups. This first demonstration of metabolomics of human BALF shows that clear distinctions in the metabolic profiles can be observed between subjects experiencing high versus low inflammation and is a first step toward the goal of discovering novel biomarkers of airway inflammation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid*
  • Cystic Fibrosis / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male