Metabolomic Alterations Associated With Behçet's Disease

Wenjie Zheng; Xiuhua Wu; Maryam Goudarzi; Jing Shi; Wei Song; Chaoran Li; Jinjing Liu; Hua Chen; Xuan Zhang; Xiaofeng Zeng; Heng-Hong Li


Arthritis Res Ther. 2018;20(214) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: The diagnosis of Behçet's disease (BD) remains challenging due to the lack of diagnostic biomarkers. This study aims to identify potential serum metabolites associated with BD and its disease activity.

Methods: Medical records and serum samples of 24 pretreated BD patients, 12 post-treated BD patients, and age-matched healthy controls (HC) were collected for metabolomics and lipidomics profiling using UPLC-QTOF-MS and UPLC-QTOF-MSE approaches. Additionally, serum samples from an independent cohort of BD patients, disease controls including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Takayasu's arteritis (TA), Crohn's disease (CD) patients, and HC were collected for further validation of two potential biomarkers using UPLC-QTOFMS analysis.

Results: Unsupervised principal component analysis (PCA) showed a clear separation of metabolomics profiles of BD patients from HC. Statistical analysis of the data revealed differential metabolites between BD patients and HC. The serum levels of some phosphatidylcholines (PCs) were found to be significantly lower in BD patients, while the levels of several polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were increased markedly in the BD group compared with HC. Furthermore, the serum level of two omega-6 PUFAs, linoleic acid (LA) and arachidonic acid (AA), were dramatically decreased in patients with remission. A validation cohort confirmed that the serum LA and AA levels in BD patients were significantly higher than those in HC and patients with RA, SLE, TA, and CD. In addition, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis indicated good sensitivity and specificity.

Conclusions: The serum metabolomics profiles in BD patients are altered. Serum LA and AA are promising diagnostic biomarkers for BD.