Ellero-Simatos S, et al., Assessing the Metabolic Effects of Prednisolone in Healthy Volunteers Using Urine Meta


Metabolon results led to:

  • Discovery of candidate biomarkers segregating glucocorticoid treatment in human serum and urine
  • Metabolic perturbations in urine by prednisolone treatment were sensitive to both time and dose and were mechanistically consistent with underlying physiological changes

Key metabolomic observations:

  • Acute prednisolone treatment decreased urine dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA sulfate) and increased 13 amino acids, glucose, 3-methylhistidine and metabolites involved in lipid metabolism such as propionylcarnitine, acetylcarnitine and carnitine.
  • Prolonged prednisolone treatment decreased urine DHEA sulfate and increased glucose and 7 amino acids

This study sought to derive and gain insight into biomarkers that can predict glucocorticoid metabolic side effects early. Thus, the metabolomic consequences of acute and therapeutic treatment with prednisolone in a small cohort of human urine and serum samples as compared to placebo were examined. Following 1 day of high dose prednisolone, there were indications of muscle catabolism as described by an increase in serum and urine amino acids as well as the muscle marker 3-methylhistidine.Biomarkers reflective of subtle distinctions with prednisolone treatment were illustrated by an increase of N-methylnicotinamide at day 15 which correlated with the homeostatic model of assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) suggesting this might represent a biomarker specific for prednisolone-induced IR. Thus, this preliminary study shows the potential of metabolomics to generate candidate biomarkers specifically coupled to underlying physiological changes and therefore, an avenue to non-invasively follow adverse effects of glucocorticoid treatment.

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