A Targeted Metabolomics MRM-MS Study on Identifying Potential Hypertension Biomarkers in Human Plasma and Evaluating Acupuncture Effects

Sci Rep. 2016 May 16;6:25871. doi: 10.1038/srep25871.


The critical role of metabolic abnormality in hypertension is increasingly recognized, but its biomarkers are not clearly identified. In this study, 47 chemical compounds recorded by literature were employed as target metabolites of essential hypertension (EH). We detected their content in the plasma of EH patients and healthy subjects by using the Multiple Reaction Monitoring-Mass Spectrometry (MRM-MS). After screening the most altered compounds, acupuncture was used to treat patients for 3 months and these plasma metabolites were tested again. The results showed that oleic acid (OA) and myoinositol (MI) were the most important differential metabolites between the hypertensive plasma and the healthy plasma. They were also closely correlated with 24-hour blood pressure and nocturnal dipping. Moreover, plasma OA and MI could be restored to normal levels by acupuncture, accompanying with reduction of 24-hour systolic and diastolic blood pressure [from 145.10 ± 9.28 mm Hg to 140.70 ± 9.59 mm Hg (P < 0.0001), and 88.35 ± 7.92 mm Hg to 85.86 ± 7.95 mm Hg (P = 0.0024), respectively] and improvement of circadian blood pressure rhythm. This study demonstrated that plasma OA and MI were potential hypertension biomarkers and they could be used to preliminarily assess the treating effects such as acupuncture.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / methods*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Essential Hypertension / blood
  • Essential Hypertension / metabolism
  • Essential Hypertension / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inositol / analysis
  • Inositol / blood*
  • Male
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Oleic Acid / analysis
  • Oleic Acid / blood*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers
  • Oleic Acid
  • Inositol