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Metabolomics. 2012 Aug;8(4):556-565.

Daily Variation of Serum Acylcarnitines and Amino Acids.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710.
2
Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710.
3
Department of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710 ; Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710.

Abstract

To characterize daily variation of amino acids (AAs) and acylcarnitines (ACs) in response to feeding and activity, we measured serum metabolites at various times and after various activities during the day. Subjects were admitted overnight for serial serum sampling, collected in the evening (6-8pm, n=40), before rising from bed or eating (8AM, n=40), 1 hour after rising but before eating (9 AM, n=20), 1-2 hours after rising and breakfast (9-10 AM, n=40), and at noon (12 PM, n=20). Measurements of 15 AAs and 45 ACs were performed by quantitative tandem mass spectrometry using stable-isotope dilution. Coefficients of variation within and between patients were calculated for individual metabolite values and factors derived from principal components analysis. The change of state between timepoints was evaluated by nearest neighbor non-parametric analysis of values at one timepoint compared to the next subsequent value. Relative to baseline AM recumbent concentrations, AA concentrations rose after activity and feeding while AC concentrations rose after activity and decreased with feeding. Furthermore, for all AAs, ACs, and their factors, biological variation was quantifiably evident and distinct from daily variation. This study confirms the daily variation of AAs and provides the first report of daily variation for a large panel of ACs. Although standardization of sample collection is highly desirable to control for daily variation (within a subject due to activity or feeding), this study demonstrated measurable biological variability (across subjects) suggesting that non-standardized sample collections could potentially provide insights into specific AA and AC metabolic pathways and disease mechanisms.

KEYWORDS:

acylcarnitines; amino acids; biomarkers; daily variation; metabolomics

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