Untargeted metabolomic analysis of human serum samples associated with exposure levels of Persistent organic pollutants indicate important perturbations in Sphingolipids and Glycerophospholipids levels

Carrizo, D., Chevallier, O. P., Woodside, J. V., Brennan, S. F., Cantwell, M. M., Cuskelly, G., Elliott, C. T. 2017. Untargeted metabolomic analysis of human serum samples associated with exposure levels of Persistent organic pollutants indicate important perturbations in Sphingolipids and Glycerophospholipids levels. Chemposphere 168, 731-738, DOI: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2016.11.001

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are distributed globally and are associated with adverse health effects in humans. A study combining gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), high resolution mass spectrometry (UPLC-QTof-MS) and chemometrics for the analysis of adult human serum samples was undertaken. Levels of serum POPs found were in the low range of what has been reported in similar populations across Europe (median 33.84 p, p’-DDE, 3.02 HCB, 83.55 beta-HCH, 246.62 PCBs ng/g lipids). Results indicated that compounds concentrations were significantly different between the two groups of POPs exposure (high vs low) and classes (DDE, beta-HCB, PCBs). Using orthogonal partial last-squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA), multivariate models were created for both modes of acquisition and POPs classes, explaining the maximum amount of variation between sample groups (positive mode R2 = 98-90%; Q2 = 94-75%; root mean squared error of validation (RMSEV) = 12-20%: negative mode R2 = 98-91%; Q2 = 94-81%; root mean squared error of validation (RMSEV) = 10-19%. In the serum samples analyzed, a total 3076 and 3121 ions of interest were detected in positive and negative mode respectively. Of these, 40 were found to be significantly different (p < 0.05) between exposure levels. Sphingolipids and Glycerophospholipids lipids families were identified and found significantly (p < 0.05) different between high and low POPs exposure levels. This study has shown that the elucidation of metabolomic fingerprints may have the potential to be classified as biomarkers of POPs exposure. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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