Urinary metabolomic profiles uncover metabolic pathways in children with asthma

J Asthma. 2024 Apr 23:1-10. doi: 10.1080/02770903.2024.2338865. Online ahead of print.


Objective: The prevalence of asthma has gradually increased worldwide in recent years, which has made asthma a global public health problem. However, due to its complexity and heterogeneity, there are a few academic debates on the pathogenic mechanism of asthma. The study of the pathogenesis of asthma through metabolomics has become a new research direction. We aim to uncover the metabolic pathway of children with asthma.

Methods: Liquid chromatography (LC)-mass spectrometry (MS)-based metabolomic analysis was conducted to compare urine metabolic profiles between asthmatic children (n = 30) and healthy controls (n = 10).

Results: Orthogonal projections to latent structures-discrimination analysis (OPLS-DA) showed that there were significant differences in metabolism between the asthma group and the control group with three different metabolites screened out, including traumatic acid, dodecanedioic acid, and glucobrassicin, and the levels of traumatic acid and dodecanedioic acid in the urine samples of asthmatic children were lower than those of healthy controls therein. Pathway enrichment analysis of differentially abundant metabolites suggested that α-linolenic acid metabolism was an asthma-related pathway.

Conclusions: This study suggests that there are significant metabolic differences in the urine of asthmatic children and healthy controls, and α-linolenic acid metabolic pathways may be involved in the pathogenesis of asthma.

Keywords: Asthma; children; metabolomics; urine; α-linolenic acid metabolism.