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Radiat Res. 2011 May;175(5):622-30. doi: 10.1667/RR2388.1. Epub 2011 Feb 21.

Identification of urinary biomarkers from X-irradiated mice using NMR spectroscopy.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York 10032, USA.


In a major radiological event, rapid screening of radiation-exposed individuals for possible medical intervention is critical. Here we suggest a high-throughput, non-invasive approach to identify radiation biomarkers in urine and demonstrate a proof of principle in mice. Mice were whole-body irradiated (8 Gy X rays), and urine samples were collected from both irradiated and control mice for 7 days after exposure. (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of all the urine samples were acquired on a spectrometer operating at a proton frequency of 600 MHz. The multivariate data were analyzed by principal component analysis (PCA). The resulting biomarkers revealed a broad range of metabolism changes, including creatine, succinate, methylamine, citrate, 2-oxoglutarate, taurine, N-methyl-nicotinamide, hippurate and choline. The temporal dependence of several biomarkers on radiation exposure was also explored. Combining several metabolomic biomarkers with different temporal dependence could provide an estimate of when the radiation exposure occurred. These results will be helpful in projecting metabolomic "fingerprints" in humans exposed to radiation.

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