Serum metabolomics analysis of rat after intragastric infusion of Pu-erh theabrownin

J Sci Food Agric. 2016 Aug;96(11):3708-16. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.7556. Epub 2016 Jan 25.


Background: The aim was to study the effects of Pu-erh theabrownin (TB) (Mw > 50 kDa) on the metabolism of rat serum by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics and identify candidate marker metabolites associated with Pu-erh TB, and thus provide fundamental information for a better understanding of the metabolism of Pu-erh tea in animals.

Results: TB infusion induced different changes in endogenous serum metabolites depending on the type of diet. Compared with the control group, the TB infusion group showed significantly reduced serum glycine and choline levels, as well as significantly increased taurine, carnitine and high-density lipoprotein (all P < 0.05). Compared with the high-lipid group, the high-lipid TB infusion group exhibited significantly reduced low-density lipoprotein and acetate levels, as well as significantly increased inositol, carnitine and glycine levels (all P < 0.05).

Conclusion: Examination of the variations of these differential expressed metabolites and their individual functions revealed that the TB extract accelerated lipid catabolism in rats and might affect glucose metabolism. Of these, carnitine level significantly increased after intragastric infusion of TB regardless of the type of diet, and activities of carnitine palmitoyltransferases I and II changed significantly, suggesting carnitine may be a candidate serum marker for tracking the metabolism of TB in rats. © 2015 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords: NMR; Pu-erh tea; metabolomics; rat; theabrownin.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / blood
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Camellia sinensis / chemistry*
  • Carnitine / blood*
  • Carnitine O-Palmitoyltransferase / blood
  • Catechin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Catechin / pharmacology
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Diet
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolome*
  • Metabolomics
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tea / chemistry*


  • Amino Acids
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Plant Extracts
  • Tea
  • theabrownin
  • Catechin
  • Carnitine O-Palmitoyltransferase
  • Carnitine