Serum Metabolomics Reveals That Gut Microbiome Perturbation Mediates Metabolic Disruption Induced by Arsenic Exposure in Mice

J Proteome Res. 2019 Mar 1;18(3):1006-1018. doi: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.8b00697. Epub 2019 Jan 25.


Arsenic contamination in drinking water has been a worldwide health concern for decades. In addition to being a well-recognized carcinogen, arsenic exposure has also been linked to diabetes, neurological effects, and cardiovascular diseases. Recently, increasing evidence has indicated that gut microbiome is an important risk factor in modulating the development of diseases. We aim to investigate the role of gut microbiome perturbation in arsenic-induced diseases by coupling a mass-spectrometry-based metabolomics approach and an animal model with altered gut microbiome induced by bacterial infection. Serum metabolic profiling has revealed that gut microbiome perturbation and arsenic exposure induced the dramatic changes of numerous metabolite pathways, including fatty acid metabolism, phospholipids, sphingolipids, cholesterols, and tryptophan metabolism, which were not or were less disrupted when the gut microbiome stayed normal. In summary, this study suggests that gut microbiome perturbation can exacerbate or cause metabolic disorders induced by arsenic exposure.

Keywords: arsenic; bacterial infection; gut microbiome; metabolomics; mouse model.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arsenic / pharmacology*
  • Bacterial Infections / complications
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Metabolic Diseases / etiology
  • Metabolome / drug effects
  • Metabolomics / methods*
  • Mice
  • Serum / metabolism*


  • Arsenic