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Metabolomics and Diabetes

Metabolomics and Diabetes

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Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder caused by a combination of environmental and genetic factors. At present, it is recognized that insulin resistance, impaired pancreatic function and other factors lead to relative or absolute deficiency of insulin secretion, resulting in abnormal blood glucose metabolism in the body and leading to diabetes. Usually, patients with diabetes have high blood glucose level for a long time and have different degrees of metabolic disorders. In severe cases, patients are prone to various complications, such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, eye disease, foot disease and so on. Diabetes not only causes physical and mental harm to patients, but also has an inevitable impact on social development. Therefore, it is particularly important to actively carry out prevention and research on diabetes mellitus.

Muti-omics for type 2 diabetesFig. 1 Muti-omics for type 2 diabetes (Wang et al., 2018).

Metabolomics is an emerging technology for investigating metabolic changes in the body, which has the advantages of high throughput, high speed and low invasiveness, and is widely used in clinical disease research. Metabolites are in the downstream of the body's response, where the upstream activities such as gene transcription and translation, protein synthesis and regulation are reflected. At the same time, external environmental influences also have a direct impact on the body's metabolism.

At present, the application of metabolomics in diabetes research mainly includes the exploration of pathogenesis, biomarker screening, early diagnosis, drug efficacy evaluation and disease prognosis.

The study of clinically significant biomarkers and metabolic pathways associated with pathogenesis is the main idea of current diabetes metabolomics research. There are three main research directions:

(1) To discover differential metabolic pathways through biomarker enrichment, and thus deepen the understanding of diabetes pathogenesis;

(2) Early diagnosis and prediction of diabetes through biomarker comparison and modeling, and then early intervention of diabetes;

(3) To evaluate the efficacy of clinical treatment of diabetes through the trend of biomarkers, and then to promote the development of individualized medical treatment.

Schematic summary of targeted and nontargeted metabolomics methodsFig. 2 Schematic summary of targeted and nontargeted metabolomics methods (Bain et al., 2009)

Metabolomics applied to the study of the pathogenesis of diabetes

Uncovering the pathogenesis of diabetes has long been a hot issue in diabetes research. Since the pathogenesis of diabetes involves a combination of environmental and genetic factors, the search for the genes responsible for its development is particularly important. However, it is difficult to explain the complex environmental and metabolic effects on the pathogenesis of diabetes by analysis at the genetic level only. Metabolomics, as a technical discipline to study the downstream metabolism of the organism, provides a more comprehensive and reliable complementary tool to study the metabolic mechanisms of diabetes pathogenesis. The enrichment of key biomarkers allows the construction of pathogenic metabolic pathways or metabolic networks, and provides insight into the pathogenesis of diabetes at the metabolic level.

Metabolomics applied to early warning and early diagnosis of diabetes

Studies have shown that 60% to 80% of diabetes can be prevented and treated through early diagnosis and timely intervention. With diet and exercise, patients with diabetes can largely control their blood glucose to normal levels. Traditional risk assessment of diabetes is often based on clinical characteristics such as gender, age, family history, fasting glucose, body mass index (BMI) and arterial blood pressure. These indicators are often susceptible to fluctuations due to diet and lifestyle habits. However, with the addition of biomarkers (e.g., amino acids, lipids, acylcarnitine, etc.), the level of diabetes risk assessment has significantly improved, effectively ensuring accurate and reliable prediction.

Creative Proteomics can provide you with metabolomics services to detect changes in metabolic profiles or specific metabolite concentrations to help accelerate your diabetes-related basic research projects.

References

  1. Wang, N., Zhu, F., Chen, L., & Chen, K. (2018). Proteomics, metabolomics and metagenomics for type 2 diabetes and its complications. Life sciences, 212, 194-202.
  2. Bain, J. R., Stevens, R. D., Wenner, B. R., Ilkayeva, O., Muoio, D. M., & Newgard, C. B. (2009). Metabolomics applied to diabetes research: moving from information to knowledge. Diabetes, 58(11), 2429-2443.

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