Lipid and metabolite correlation networks specific to clinical and biochemical covariate show differences associated with sexual dimorphism in a cohort of nonagenarians

Geroscience. 2022 Apr;44(2):1109-1128. doi: 10.1007/s11357-021-00404-3. Epub 2021 Jul 29.


This study defines and estimates the metabolite-lipidic component association networks constructed from an array of 20 metabolites and 114 lipids identified and quantified via NMR spectroscopy in the serum of a cohort of 355 Italian nonagenarians and ultra-nonagenarian. Metabolite-lipid association networks were built for men and women and related to an array of 101 clinical and biochemical parameters, including the presence of diseases, bio-humoral parameters, familiarity diseases, drugs treatments, and risk factors. Different connectivity patterns were observed in lipids, branched chains amino acids, alanine, and ketone bodies, suggesting their association with the sex-related and sex-clinical condition-related intrinsic metabolic changes. Furthermore, our results demonstrate, using a holistic system biology approach, that the characterization of metabolic structures and their dynamic inter-connections is a promising tool to shed light on the dimorphic pathophysiological mechanisms of aging at the molecular level.

Keywords: Aging; Differential network analysis; Lipidomics; Metabolomics; Network inference; Nuclear magnetic resonance; Sexual dimorphism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lipids
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy / methods
  • Male
  • Metabolomics* / methods
  • Nonagenarians
  • Sex Characteristics*


  • Lipids