Describing the fecal metabolome in cryogenically collected samples from healthy participants


Kajetan Trošt, Linda Ahonen, Tommi Suvitaival, Nina Christiansen, Trine Nielsen, Maja Thiele, Suganya Jacobsen, Aleksander Krag, Peter Rossing, Torben Hansen, Lars Ove Dragsted & Cristina Legido-Quigley

The chemical composition of feces plays an important role in human metabolism. Metabolomics and lipidomics are valuable tools for screening the metabolite composition in feces. Here we set out to describe fecal metabolite composition in healthy participants in frozen stools. Frozen stool samples were collected from 10 healthy volunteers and cryogenically drilled in four areas along the specimen. Polar metabolites were analyzed using derivatization followed by two-dimensional gas chromatography and time of flight mass spectrometry. Lipids were detected using ultra high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with quadruple time-of-flight mass spectrometry. 2326 metabolic features were detected. Out of a total of 298 metabolites that were annotated we report here 185 that showed a technical variation of x < 30%. These metabolites included amino acids, fatty acid derivatives, carboxylic acids and phenolic compounds. Lipids predominantly belonged to the groups of diacylglycerols, triacylglycerols and ceramides. Metabolites varied between sampling areas, some were broadly homogeneous, others varied 80%. A LASSO-computed network using metabolites present in all areas showed two main clusters describing the system, DAG lipids and phenyllactic acid. In feces from healthy participants, the main groups detected were phenolic compounds, ceramides, diacylglycerols and triacylglycerols.

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