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Integrating multiple analytical datasets to compare metabolite profiles of mouse colonic-cecal contents and feces

Huawei Zeng, Dmitry Grapov, Matthew I. Jackson, Joannes Fahramann, Oliver Fiehn, Gerald F. Combs Jr.
Metabolites 2015 v.5 no.3 pp. 489-501
amino acids, animal models, biochemical pathways, cecum, colon, data collection, energy, feces, gas chromatography, intestinal microorganisms, intestinal mucosa, lipids, mass spectrometry, metabolism, metabolites, metabolomics, mice, microbiome, molecular weight, phenotype, ultra-performance liquid chromatography
The pattern of metabolites produced by the gut microbiome comprises a phenotype indicative of the means by which that microbiome affects the gut. We characterized that phenotype in mice by conducting metabolomic analyses of the colonic-cecal contents, comparing that to the metabolite patterns of feces in order to determine the suitability of fecal specimens as proxies for assessing the metabolic impact of the gut microbiome. We detected a total of 270 low molecular weight metabolites in colonic-cecal contents and feces by gas chromatograph, time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC-TOF) and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography, quadrapole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q-TOF). Of that number, 251 (93%) were present in both types of specimen, representing almost all known biochemical pathways related to the amino acid, carbohydrate, energy, lipid, membrane transport, nucleotide, genetic information processing, and cancer-related metabolism. A total of 115 metabolites differed significantly in relative abundance between both colonic-cecal contents and feces. These data comprise the first characterization of relationships among metabolites present in the colonic-cecal contents and feces in a healthy mouse model, and shows that feces can be a useful proxy for assessing the pattern of metabolites to which the colonic mucosum is exposed.