Urinary metabolomics using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry: potential biomarkers for autism spectrum disorder

Zaib Un Nisa Khan, Prem Chand, Hafsa Majid, Sibtain Ahmed, Aysha Habib Khan, Azeema Jamil, Saba Ejaz, Ambreen Wasim, Khaleel Ahmad Khan, Lena Jafri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is generally made phenotypically and the hunt for ASD-biomarkers continues. The purpose of this study was to compare urine organic acids profiles of ASD versus typically developing (TD) children to identify potential biomarkers for diagnosis and exploration of ASD etiology. Methods: This case control study was performed in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in collaboration with the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Aga Khan University, Pakistan. Midstream urine was collected in the first half of the day time before noon from the children with ASD diagnosed by a pediatric neurologist based on DSM-5 criteria and TD healthy controls from August 2019 to June 2021. The urine organic acids were analyzed by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. To identify potential biomarkers for ASD canonical linear discriminant analysis was carried out for the organic acids, quantified in comparison to an internal standard. Results: A total of 85 subjects were enrolled in the current study. The mean age of the ASD (n = 65) and TD groups (n = 20) was 4.5 ± 2.3 and 6.4 ± 2.2 years respectively with 72.3% males in the ASD group and 50% males in the TD group. Parental consanguinity was 47.7 and 30% in ASD and TD groups, respectively. The common clinical signs noted in children with ASD were developmental delay (70.8%), delayed language skills (66.2%), and inability to articulate sentences (56.9%). Discriminant analysis showed that 3-hydroxyisovalericc, homovanillic acid, adipic acid, suberic acid, and indole acetic were significantly different between ASD and TD groups. The biochemical classification results reveal that 88.2% of cases were classified correctly into ASD& TD groups based on the urine organic acid profiles. Conclusion: 3-hydroxy isovaleric acid, homovanillic acid, adipic acid, suberic acid, and indole acetic were good discriminators between the two groups. The discovered potential biomarkers could be valuable for future research in children with ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101
JournalBMC Neurology
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Gas chromatography/mass spectrum
  • Organic acids

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