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Integrated Lipidomics and Metabolomics Analysis of Tears in Multiple Sclerosis: An Insight into Diagnostic Potential of Lacrimal Fluid

  • Cicalini, Ilaria
  • Rossi, Claudia
  • Pieragostino, Damiana
  • Agnifili, Luca
  • Mastropasqua, Leonardo
  • di Ioia, Maria
  • De Luca, Giovanna
  • Onofrj, Marco
  • Federici, Luca
  • Del Boccio, Piero
Publication Date
Mar 13, 2019
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Metabolomics based on mass spectrometry represents an innovative approach to characterize multifactorial diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MuS). To date, the most important biomarker source for MuS diagnosis is the cerebrospinal fluid. However, an important goal for research is to identify new molecules in more easily accessible biological fluids. A very interesting biofluid in MuS is represented by tears, considered as an intermediate fluid between the cerebrospinal fluid and serum. In this work, we developed a merged strategy for the analysis of lipids containing choline by Liquid Chromatography coupled to Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), as well as for the targeted analysis of free carnitine, acylcarnitines and aminoacids by direct infusion mass spectrometry. Samples for both metabolomics and lipidomics approaches were obtained in a single extraction procedure from tears of patients affected by MuS and healthy controls. Tear lipidomics showed 30 phospholipids significantly modulated and, notably, many sphingomyelins resulted lower in MuS. Moreover, the metabolomics approach carried out both on tears and serum highlighted the diagnostic potential of specific aminoacids and acylcarnitines. In conclusion, the metabolic profiling of tears appears to reflect the pathological conditions of the central nervous system, suggesting that the molecular repository of tears can be considered as a source of potential biomarkers for MuS.

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