American Chemical Society

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Metabolome-Wide Association Study of Multiple Plasma Metals with Serum Metabolomic Profile among Middle-to-Older-Aged Chinese Adults

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posted on 2022-10-21, 17:35 authored by Yuhui Lin, Yu Yuan, Yang Ouyang, Hao Wang, Yang Xiao, Xinjie Zhao, Handong Yang, Xiulou Li, Huan Guo, Meian He, Xiaomin Zhang, Guowang Xu, Gaokun Qiu, Tangchun Wu
Metal exposure has been associated with risk of various cardio-metabolic disorders, and investigation on the association between exposure to multiple metals and metabolic responses may reveal novel clues to the underlying mechanisms. Based on a metabolome-wide association study of 17 plasma metals with untargeted metabolomic profiling of 189 serum metabolites among 1992 participants within the Dongfeng–Tongji cohort, we replicated two metal-associated pathways, linoleic acid metabolism and aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis, with novel metal associations (false discovery rate, FDR < 0.05), and we also identified two novel pathways, including biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids and alpha-linolenic acid metabolism, as associated with metal exposure (FDR < 0.05). Moreover, two-way orthogonal partial least-squares analysis showed that five metabolites, including aspartylphenylalanine, free fatty acid 14:1, uridine, carnitine C14:2, and LPC 18:2, contributed most to the joint covariation between the two data matrices (12.3%, 8.3%, 8.0%, 7.4%, and 7.3%, respectively). Further BKMR analysis showed significant positive joint associations of plasma Al, As, Ba, and Zn with aspartylphenylalanine and of plasma Ba, Co, Mn, and Pb with carnitine C14:2, when all the metals were at the 55th percentiles or above, compared with the median. We also found significant interactions between As and Ba in the association with aspartylphenylalanine (P for interaction = 0.048) and between Ba and Pb in the association with carnitine C14:2 (P for interaction < 0.001). Together, these findings may provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying the adverse health effects induced by metal exposure.