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J Proteome Res. 2014 Jun 30. [Epub ahead of print]

Metabolomic Profiling of Autoimmune Hepatitis: The Diagnostic Utility of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.

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China Military Institute of Chinese Medicine, 302 Military Hospital , Beijing 100039, PR China.


Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is often confused with other liver diseases because of their shared nonspecific symptoms and serological and histological overlap. This study compared the plasma metabolomic profiles of patients with AIH, primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), PBC/AIH overlap syndrome (OS), and drug-induced liver injury (DILI) with those of healthy subjects to identify potential biomarkers of AIH. Metabolomic profiling and biomarker screening were performed using proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H NMR) coupled with a partial least-squares discriminant analysis. Compared with the levels in healthy volunteers and other liver disease patients, AIH patients exhibited relatively high levels of plasma pyruvate, lactate, acetate, acetoacetate, and glucose. Such metabolites are typically related to energy metabolism alterations and may be a sign of metabolic conversion to the aerobic glycolysis phenotype of excessive immune activation. Increased aromatic amino acids and decreased branched-chain amino acids were found in the plasma of AIH patients. The whole NMR profiles were stepwise-reduced, and nine metabolomic biomarkers having the greatest significance in the discriminant analysis were obtained. The diagnostic utility of the selected metabolites was assessed, and these biomarkers achieved good sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy (all above 93%) in distinguishing AIH from PBC, DILI, and OS. This report is the first to present the metabolic phenotype of AIH and the potential utility of 1H NMR metabolomics in the diagnosis of AIH.


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