For large-scale metabolomics, such as in cohort studies, normalization protocols using quality control (QC) samples have been established when using data from gas chromatography and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. However, normalization protocols have not been established for capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry metabolomics. In this study, we performed metabolome analysis of 314 human plasma samples using capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry. QC samples were analyzed every 10 samples. The results of principal component analysis for the metabolome data from only the QC samples showed variations caused by capillary replacement in the first principal component score and linear variation with continuous measurement in the second principal component score. Correlation analysis between diagnostic blood tests and plasma metabolites normalized by the QC samples was performed for samples from 188 healthy subjects who participated in a Japanese population study. Five highly correlated pairs were identified, including two previously unidentified pairs in normal healthy subjects of blood urea nitrogen and guanidinosuccinic acid, and gamma-glutamyl transferase and cysteine glutathione disulfide. These results confirmed the validity of normalization protocols in capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry using large-scale metabolomics and comprehensive analysis.
Keywords: capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry; large-scale sampling; metabolomics; normalization; oxidative stress; quality control.