Basic Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2018. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Feb 28, 2018; 24(8): 894-904
Published online Feb 28, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i8.894
Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry based metabolomic study in a murine model of irritable bowel syndrome
Lei-Min Yu, Ke-Jia Zhao, Shuang-Shuang Wang, Xi Wang, Bin Lu
Lei-Min Yu, Ke-Jia Zhao, Shuang-Shuang Wang, Bin Lu, Department of Gastroenterology, First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310006, Zhejiang Province, China
Lei-Min Yu, Ke-Jia Zhao, Shuang-Shuang Wang, First Clinical Medical College of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310053, Zhejiang Province, China
Xi Wang, Key Laboratory of Digestive Pathophysiology of Zhejiang Province, First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310053, Zhejiang Province, China
Author contributions: Yu LM, Zhao KJ, Wang SS, Wang X and Lu B designed the study; Yu LM and Zhao KJ collected and analyzed the data; Yu LM drafted and wrote the manuscript; Lu B revised the manuscript critically for intellectual content; all authors gave intellectual input to the study and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 81470814 and No. 81400594; and Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China, No. LQ14H160014.
Institutional review board statement: This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Zhejiang Chinese Medical University. All procedures in the animal studies were performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice.
Institutional animal care and use committee statement: All procedures were approved by the Animal Care Committee of Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, and all methods were performed in accordance with the relevant guidelines and regulations.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Bin Lu, MD, PhD, Doctor, Professor, Department of Gastroenterology, First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang Chinese Medicine University, No. 54, Youdian Road, Hangzhou 310006, Zhejiang Province, China.
Telephone: +86-571-87032028 Fax: +86-571-87077785
Received: December 13, 2017
Peer-review started: December 13, 2017
First decision: December 27, 2017
Revised: January 12, 2018
Accepted: January 20, 2018
Article in press: January 20, 2018
Published online: February 28, 2018
Research background

The prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in Western societies is approximately 10%-20%, and the pathology of IBS is complicated. It is believed that multiple factors such as genetics, visceral hypersensitivity, gastrointestinal motility, dysregulation of the brain-gut axis, levels of neuropeptides and hormones, as well as inflammatory changes all contribute to IBS development.

Research motivation

Microbial metabolites regulate biochemical and physiological processes. Certain disorders that alter fecal microbial profiles may cause IBS. Thus, the key topic we wanted to address in this study is the impact of the microbiota on host–microbial interactions. Fecal metabolic compositions and variations not only reflect the status of the intestinal microbiota, but also bridge the relationship between symbiotic microbes and host health.

Research objectives

The study of fecal metabolomics offers a unique insight to investigate IBS. In the present study, differentially expressed metabolites and key metabolic pathways were found in fecal samples from IBS mice, when compared to the control group. The metabolomic profile in the IBS group was significantly altered following Clostridium butyricum treatment.

Research methods

Fecal samples were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method. The resulting three-dimensional data involving the peak number, sample name, and normalized peak area were submitted to SIMCA14.1 software package for principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal projections to latent structures-discriminate analysis (OPLS-DA). MetaboAnalyst was used to identify the most relevant pathways (

Research results

In this study, we found differentially expressed metabolites between the control and IBS groups. C. butyricum administration modulated metabolic profiles and reduced visceral sensitivity and diarrhea symptoms in IBS mice. This study demonstrated the impact of metabolomic studies on the etiology of IBS. Supplementation with probiotics may provide great prospects for the treatment of IBS. In the future, we will focus fecal metabolomic studies in IBS patients to explore the prevalent pathways and mechanisms in humans.

Research conclusions

Based on the GC-MS analysis, we found that fecal metabolites were changed during the pathological process of IBS. IBS mice demonstrated disorders in fecal microbial profiles, which led to fecal metabolic changes that may affect the development of IBS. This study also demonstrated the potential of metabolomic studies to provide new insights into the etiology of IBS. Probiotics can be used to improve the symptoms of IBS and alter fecal metabolites, and therefore may be used to treat IBS.

Research perspectives

Intestinal microbiota metabolites are very complex. In the future, our research will focus on fecal metabolites in IBS patients to explore the pathophysiological mechanisms in humans. GC-MS combined with liquid chromatography (LC)-MS analysis should be considered for future studies.