Multi-platform Mass Spectrometry Analysis of the CSF and Plasma Metabolomes of Rigorously Matched Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease and Control Subjects

Mol Biosyst. 2016 Apr;12(4):1287-98. doi: 10.1039/c5mb00711a. Epub 2016 Feb 17.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson's disease (PD) are protein-aggregation diseases that lack clear molecular etiologies. Biomarkers could aid in diagnosis, prognosis, planning of care, drug target identification and stratification of patients into clinical trials. We sought to characterize shared and unique metabolite perturbations between ALS and PD and matched controls selected from patients with other diagnoses, including differential diagnoses to ALS or PD that visited our clinic for a lumbar puncture. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma from rigorously age-, sex- and sampling-date matched patients were analyzed on multiple platforms using gas chromatography (GC) and liquid chromatography (LC)-mass spectrometry (MS). We applied constrained randomization of run orders and orthogonal partial least squares projection to latent structure-effect projections (OPLS-EP) to capitalize upon the study design. The combined platforms identified 144 CSF and 196 plasma metabolites with diverse molecular properties. Creatine was found to be increased and creatinine decreased in CSF of ALS patients compared to matched controls. Glucose was increased in CSF of ALS patients and α-hydroxybutyrate was increased in CSF and plasma of ALS patients compared to matched controls. Leucine, isoleucine and ketoleucine were increased in CSF of both ALS and PD. Together, these studies, in conjunction with earlier studies, suggest alterations in energy utilization pathways and have identified and further validated perturbed metabolites to be used in panels of biomarkers for the diagnosis of ALS and PD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / blood*
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Biomarkers
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry* / methods
  • Metabolome*
  • Metabolomics* / methods
  • Parkinson Disease / blood*
  • Parkinson Disease / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Biomarkers