Metabolon Study Provides Insight into Acrolein-Induced Lung Injury


Metabolon Study Provides Insight into Acrolein-Induced Lung Injury

Managing Energetic Stress is Key to Increased Acute Lung Injury Survival in Mice

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (August 23, 2011) — Metabolon, Inc., the leader in metabolomics, biomarker discovery and biochemical analysis, announces the publication of “Integrative Metabolome and Transcriptome Profiling Reveals Discordant Energetic Stress Between Mouse Strains with Differential Sensitivity to Acrolein-Induced Acute Lung Injury” in The Molecular Nutrition and Food Research Journal. The study was conducted by James Fabrisiak, George Leikauf and colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh and SoonChun Hyang University in collaboration with Metabolon scientists.

Analysis of the lung metabolomes of two genetically distinct inbred strains of mice (SM/J and 129X1/SvJ) that are susceptible (SM/J) or resistant (129X1/SvJ) to acrolein-induced acute lung injury provided insights into the role of the lung as a metabolic organ as well as the pathogenesis and genetic basis of acute lung injury. The study showed that a metabolomic signature of energetic stress is associated with acrolein exposure. Some response patterns such as changes in metabolites involved in histidine metabolism and the Krebs cycle appeared relatively conserved between the susceptible and resistant strains. Other metabolites (e.g., phenylalanine/tyrosine metabolites) changed in similar directions but differed in magnitude and/or speed of response which may reflect the differential sensitivity to succumbing to acute lung injury. Notably, the mouse strain sensitive to acute lung injury exhibited diminished ability to generate metabolites of fatty acid β-oxidation, both before and during acrolein exposure. These findings suggest that the ability to invoke auxiliary energy generating pathways rapidly and effectively may be critical in enhancing survival.

George Leikauf of University of Pittsburgh stated that, "The inability to mount an integrated energetic response to an environmental stress by the SM/J mouse points out the importance of rapid and effective activation of auxiliary energy generating pathways for survival. These findings provide new insights into the metabolic basis for the poorer health outcomes faced by patients with acute lung injury."

Remarking on the study, Metabolon CEO John Ryals said, “Acrolein is a health hazard caused by overheating cooking oils or by cooking using biomass fuels like wood or alcohol. It is also present in environmental tobacco smoke. As a consequence, its effects on the population are of great concern. We hope these results will lead to further investigation into this chemical and its impact on the lung.

The article is available at:

About Metabolon
Metabolon, Inc. has advanced the field of metabolomics by pioneering and patenting the industry’s leading biochemicalbiomarker discovery and profiling platform. It has developed the technology to quickly identify and measure all of the biochemicals in a biological sample through its proprietary global processing method. Through the generation and interpretation of data, this method provides a precise understanding of disease etiology and drug action, and advances personalized medicine beyond what genomics and other approaches can promise. Metabolon’s expertise is being embraced by a wide range of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food and agricultural companies. Metabolytics, its biomarker discovery and analysis business, has completed over 320 client studies and processed over 30,000 samples for customers in 2010 alone. Building on its expertise in biochemistry understanding, Metabolon is also developing proprietary diagnostic tests to determine and track disease progression. For more information about Metabolon, please visit or contact Matt Zaske at (919) 595-2200.

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