Centre for Precision Health / School of Medical and Health Sciences
National Key R&D Program of China (2021YFC2500500) / National Natural Science Foundation of China (81973112, 92049302)
Background: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) has been proposed as a clinically identifiable high-risk state for the prediction and prevention of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes mellitus. As a promising “omics” technology, metabolomics provides an innovative strategy to gain a deeper understanding of the pathophysiology of MetS. The study aimed to systematically investigate the metabolic alterations in MetS and identify biomarker panels for the identification of MetS using machine learning methods. Methods: Nuclear magnetic resonance-based untargeted metabolomics analysis was performed on 1011 plasma samples (205 MetS patients and 806 healthy controls). Univariate and multivariate analyses were applied to identify metabolic biomarkers for MetS. Metabolic pathway enrichment analysis was performed to reveal the disturbed metabolic pathways related to MetS. Four machine learning algorithms, including support vector machine (SVM), random forest (RF), k-nearest neighbor (KNN), and logistic regression were used to build diagnostic models for MetS. Results: Thirteen significantly differential metabolites were identified and pathway enrichment revealed that arginine, proline, and glutathione metabolism are disturbed metabolic pathways related to MetS. The protein-metabolite-disease interaction network identified 38 proteins and 23 diseases are associated with 10 MetS-related metabolites. The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve of the SVM, RF, KNN, and logistic regression models based on metabolic biomarkers were 0.887, 0.993, 0.914, and 0.755, respectively. Conclusions: The plasma metabolome provides a promising resource of biomarkers for the predictive diagnosis and targeted prevention of MetS. Alterations in amino acid metabolism play significant roles in the pathophysiology of MetS. The biomarker panels and metabolic pathways could be used as preventive targets in dealing with cardiometabolic diseases related to MetS.
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