Comparison of mouse urinary metabolic profiles after exposure to the inflammatory stressors ? radiation and lipopolysaccharide.
Metabolomics on easily accessible biofluids has the potential to provide rapid identification and distinction between stressors and inflammatory states. In the event of a radiological event, individuals with underlying medical conditions could present with similar symptoms to radiation poisoning, prominently nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and fever. Metabolomics of radiation exposure in mice has provided valuable biomarkers, and in this study we aimed to identify biomarkers of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure to compare and contrast with ionizing radiation. LPS treatment leads to a severe inflammatory response and a cytokine storm, events similar to radiation exposure, and LPS exposure can recapitulate many of the responses seen in sepsis. Urine from control mice, LPS-treated mice, and mice irradiated with 3, 8 and 15 Gy of ? rays was analyzed by LCMS, and markers were extracted using SIMCA-P(+) and Random Forests. Markers were validated through tandem mass spectrometry against pure chemicals. Five metabolites, cytosine, cortisol, adenine, O-propanoylcarnitine and isethionic acid, showed increased excretion at 24 h after LPS treatment (P < 0.0001, 0.0393, 0.0393, <0.0001 and 0.0004, respectively). Of these, cytosine, adenine and O-propanoylcarnitine showed specificity to LPS treatment when compared to radiation. On the other hand, increased excretion of cortisol after LPS and radiation treatments indicated a rapid systemic response to inflammatory agents. Isethionic acid excretion, however, showed elevated levels not only after LPS treatment but also after a very high dose of radiation (15 Gy), while additional metabolites showed responsiveness to radiation but not LPS. Metabolomics therefore has the potential to distinguish between different inflammatory responses based on differential ion signatures. It can also provide quick and reliable assessment of medical conditions in a mass casualty radiological scenario and aid in effective triaging.