Biomarkers of Injury and Destruction in the Cystic Fibrosis Lung


Metabolomics Analysis Identifies Novel Plasma Biomarkers of CF Pulmonary Exacerbation

Metabolomics is an emerging field that studies metabolic substrates and products in biological samples. In addition to identifying putative biomarkers, metabolomic profiling provides an instantaneous snapshot of the physiology of an organism and can be a direct link to mechanism of disease. The pathophysiology of cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease is characterized by a cycle of infection, inflammation and lung damage. Clinically, CF patients exhibit a chronic and progressive decline in lung function accelerated by intermittent pulmonary exacerbations. The link between pulmonary exacerbation and the degree of obstructive lung disease as measured by FEV1 remains unclear. Metabolomics analysis provides the unique opportunity to investigate how the metabolomic profile changes between different CF phenotypes (pulmonary exacerbation vs. clinically well states) to provide valuable insight into the mechanistic process. This group's objective is to identify new biomarkers of lung injury in plasma from CF patients during pulmonary exacerbation. 

In previous studies of sick and well individuals, results showed that metabolic changes identified in sick individuals suggest lipid peroxidation, lipid membrane breakdown, changes in energy metabolism, and altered liver function. The next step is to purchase standards for the top 5-10 metabolites that differentiate sick from well patients and work with the UM Center for Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics to perform MRM analysis of the entire cohort for validation. This process will utilize MSI resources.

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