CI Cruickshank-Quinn, S Mahaffey, MJ Justice, G Hughes, M Armstrong, RP Bowler, R Reisdorph, I Petrache, N Reisdorph
Cigarette smoke exposure is linked to the development of a variety of chronic lung and systemic diseases in susceptible individuals. Metabolomics approaches may aid in defining disease phenotypes, may help predict responses to treatment, and could identify biomarkers of risk for developing disease. Using a mouse model of chronic cigarette smoke exposure sufficient to cause mild emphysema, we investigated whether cigarette smoke induces distinct metabolic profiles and determined their persistence following smoking cessation. Metabolites were extracted from plasma and fractionated based on chemical class using liquid-liquid and solid-phase extraction prior to performing liquid chromatography mass spectrometry-based metabolomics. Metabolites were evaluated for statistically significant differences among group means (p-value≤0.05) and fold change ≥1.5). Cigarette smoke exposure was associated with significant differences in amino acid, purine, lipid, fatty acid, and steroid metabolite levels compared to air exposed animals. Whereas 60% of the metabolite changes were reversible, 40% of metabolites remained persistently altered even following 2 months of smoking cessation, including nicotine metabolites. Validation of metabolite species and translation of these findings to human plasma metabolite signatures induced by cigarette smoking may lead to the discovery of biomarkers or pathogenic pathways of smoking-induced disease.