The citrin/mitochondrial glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (mGPD) double-knockout mouse displays phenotypic attributes of both neonatal intrahepatic cholestasis and adult-onset type II citrullinemia, making it a suitable model of human citrin deficiency. In the present study, we investigated metabolic disturbances in the livers of wild-type, citrin (Ctrn) knockout, mGPD knockout, and Ctrn/mGPD double-knockout mice following oral sucrose versus saline administration using metabolomic approaches. By using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry and capillary electrophoresis/mass spectrometry, we found three general groupings of metabolite changes in the livers of the double-knockout mice following sucrose administration that were subsequently confirmed using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry or enzymatic methods: a marked increase of hepatic glycerol 3-phosphate, a generalized decrease of hepatic tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates, and alterations of hepatic amino acid levels related to the urea cycle or lysine catabolism including marked increases in citrulline and lysine. Furthermore, concurrent oral administration of sodium pyruvate with sucrose ameliorated the hyperammonemia induced by sucrose, as had been shown previously, as well as almost completely normalizing the hepatic metabolite perturbations found. Overall, we have identified additional metabolic disturbances in double-KO mice following oral sucrose administration, and provided further evidence for the therapeutic use of sodium pyruvate in our mouse model of citrin deficiency.
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