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Whole-body spatially-resolved metabolomics method for profiling the metabolic differences of epimer drug candidates using ambient mass spectrometry imaging

Luo, Zhigang, Liu, Dan, Pang, Xuechao, Yang, Wanqi, He, Jiuming, Zhang, Ruiping, Zhu, Chenggen, Chen, Yanhua, Li, Xin, Zhang, Jianjun, Shi, Jiangong, Abliz, Zeper
Talanta 2019 v.202 pp. 198-206
air, brain, computer software, desorption, drugs, gamma-aminobutyric acid, image analysis, ionization, ions, mass spectrometry, metabolites, metabolomics, neurotransmitters, oral administration, pharmacodynamics, rats, spectrometers, stomach
Investigation of the in vivo drug action and metabolic differences of epimer drugs is challenging. Whole-body MSI analysis can visually present the stereoscopic distribution of molecules related to the interaction of drugs and organisms, and can provide more comprehensive organ-specific profiling information. Herein, we developed a whole-body spatially-resolved imaging metabolomics method based on an air flow-assisted ionisation desorption electrospray ionisation (AFADESI)-MSI system coupled with a high-resolution mass spectrometer and highly discriminating imaging software. The epimeric sedative-hypnotic drug candidates YZG-331 and YZG-330 were selected as examples, and rats administered normal or high oral doses were used. By performing multivariate statistical data-mining on the combined MSI data, organ-specific differential ions were screened. By comparing the variations in the relative contents of the drugs, their metabolites, and endogenous neurotransmitters throughout whole-body tissue sections of the rats, rich information that could potentially explain the more significant sedative-hypnotic effects of YZG-330 compared to YZG-331 was obtained. Such as the increased ratio of gamma-aminobutyric acid in the brain and stomach of the rats (0.25, 0.47, 0.68, 0.30, and 0.89 for the control and YZG-331-H, YZG-330-H, YZG-331-L, and YZG-330-L, respectively) were interesting. This study provided a convenient and visual method to investigate in vivo molecular metabolic differences and provide insight towards a better understanding of the pharmacodynamic mechanisms of these sedative-hypnotic drug-candidates.