Metabolomics for Diabetes
Reveal Disease Mechanisms and Support Patient Stratification
By facilitating simultaneous assessment of hundreds of compounds present in living systems, metabolomics can be a critical tool used to identify biomarkers of disease development and novel targets to control Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) progression.
Most recently, Metabolon’s technology contributed to the identification of a key gut microbiome-derived compound linked to insulin resistance. A study published in Cell in 2018 helped clarify the connection between diet, the gut microbiome and processes such as glucose tolerance and insulin signaling, which are important mechanisms in the development of T2D. Revealing disease mechanisms is also vital to understanding related conditions like pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes, since both may signal a predisposition to developing a form of T2D. Therefore diabetes researchers will find value in the capability of Metabolon’s metabolomics and lipidomics services for discovering predictive biomarkers. With these tools, Metabolon is uniquely positioned to capture diabetes phenotypes through the broadest lens possible.
Understand Diabetes Treatment Mode of Action
Metabolomics has helped expound the pharmacological actions of metformin, the front-line drug for T2D. Metformin reduces insulin resistance and improves the uptake of glucose in muscle, making it useful in controlling plasma glucose levels of T2D patients.1 However, the influence of metformin on AMPK (5′ AMP-activated protein kinase), and energy homeostasis is still not completely understood. Recently, metabolomics helped to show that metformin activation of the AMPK in the liver lowers the values of LDL cholesterol and relaxes smooth muscle tissue, thereby aiding T2D patients who also have cardiovascular disease. Metformin has also been linked to reduced risk of certain kinds of cancers, including head and neck cancers.2 Therefore, a better understanding of how metformin works could improve treatments for diabetic patients and identify additional therapeutic uses. More broadly, this research demonstrates the power of metabolomics in understanding the therapeutic mode of action for pharmacological treatments of diabetes and its comorbidities.
Metabolon Can Move Your Diabetes Research Forward
See how Metabolon can advance your path to preclinical and clinical insights
Metabolomics Panels for Diabetes Applications
Diabetes Research Markers Targeted Panel
Glucose-related metabolomic analyses are typically provided as global, untargeted metabolomics to detect and identify analytes in a sample, or targeted, absolute quantification of single metabolites. But to advance further research, there are limited options available for quantification and forensic investigation of related analytes and contributing sources of diabetes—until now. The Diabetes Research Markers Targeted Panel takes your understanding of 22 metabolites known to contribute to diabetes further than ever before, helping you discover new insights into what factors may play a significant role in affecting diabetes.
Salivary Glucose Single Analyte Assay
Daily monitoring of glucose levels is an essential part of managing diabetes. However, blood glucose testing usually involves finger pricks, an invasive procedure that is troublesome to some patients. Therefore, increasing efforts have been made to develop a non-invasive method by self-testing salivary glucose levels, which are two orders of magnitude lower than those in blood.
Impaired Glucose Tolerance Targeted Panel
Impaired Glucose Tolerance is a prediabetic state of hyperglycemia that is associated with insulin resistance and an increased risk of cardiovascular pathology (Barr, 2007). The condition occurs when blood glucose levels remain high for an extended period after oral ingestion of glucose but not high enough to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
Impaired Glucose Tolerance can be assessed with a single fasted blood draw by measuring a panel of selected metabolites comprised of two small organic acids (α-hydroxybutyric acid (AHB) and 4-methyl-2-oxopentanoic acid (4MOP)), 2 lipids (oleic acid and linoleoyl glycerophosphocholine (LGPC)), a ketone body (β-hydroxybutyric acid (BHBA)), an amino acid (serine), a vitamin (pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)), and glucose.
Insulin Resistance Targeted Panel
Insulin resistance is a critical pathophysiological state underlying several chronic conditions, including type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Insulin resistance is evident when glucose builds up in the blood stream instead of being absorbed by the body’s cells. It is a result of a diminished response to the hormone insulin at the whole body, organ, or cellular level.
A panel of biomarkers comprised of a small organic acid (α-hydroxybutyric acid (AHB)), 2 lipids (oleic acid and linoleoylglycero-phosphocholine (LGPC)) and insulin identifies insulin resistance with a single fasting blood sample and may have value as an early indicator of risk for the development of prediabetes and type-2 diabetes.
Metabolon in Action
Biomarker Discovery in Insulin Resistance
Gut Microbiome and Diabetes
Biomarkers for Obesity
Metabolon identifies a metabolic signature of obesity and assesses metabolic health without the limitations of other costly technologies.
Metabolite Biomarkers for Type 2 Diabetes (T2D)
This study associated T2D etiopathogenesis with metabolites that could be targeted for novel therapies. These metabolites can also diagnose the correct T2D subtype to improve care and outcomes for individuals with T2D. Monitoring these metabolites in patients with T2D via targeted metabolomic profiling may inform the efficacy of a therapeutic intervention.
Interested in Further Studies?
Once you see the full value of metabolomics, the only remaining question is who does it best? While many laboratories have metabolite profiling or analytical chemistry capabilities, comprehensive metabolomics technologies are extremely rare. Accurate, unbiased metabolite identification across the entire metabolome introduces signal-to-noise challenges that very few labs are equipped to handle. Also, translating massive quantities of data into actionable information is slow, if not impossible, for most because proper interpretation takes two things that are in short supply: experience and a comprehensive database.
Only Metabolon has all four core metabolomics capabilities
Ability to interrogate thousands of metabolites across diverse biochemical space, revealing new insights and opportunities
Ability to integrate the data from different studies into the same dataset, in different geographies, among different patients over time
Ability to inform on proper study design, generate high‐quality data, derive biological insights, and make actionable recommendations
Ability to process hundreds of thousands of samples quickly and cost‐efficiently to service rapidly growing demand
Partner with Metabolon to access:
A library of 5,400+ known metabolites, 2,000 in human plasma, all referenced in the context of biochemical pathways
- That’s 5x the metabolites of the closest competitor
Unparalleled depth and breadth of experience analyzing and interpreting metabolomic data to find meaningful results
- 10,000+ projects with hundreds of clients
- 2,000+ publications covering 500 diseases, including numerous peer-reviewed journals such as Cell, Nature and Science
- Nearly 40 PhDs in data science, molecular biology, and biochemistry
Using our robust platform and visualization tools, our experts are uniquely able to tell you more about your molecule and develop assay panels to help you zero in on the results you need.
Related Diabetes Metabolomics Resources
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Request a quote for our services, get more information on sample types and handling procedures, request a letter of support, or submit a question about how metabolomics can advance your research.
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1. Adam J, Brandmaier S, Leonhardt J, et al. Metformin Effect on Nontargeted Metabolite Profiles in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and in Multiple Murine Tissues. Diabetes. 2016;65(12):3776-3785. doi:10.2337/db16-0512
2. Curry J, Johnson J, Tassone P, et al. Metformin effects on head and neck squamous carcinoma microenvironment: Window of opportunity trial. Laryngoscope. 2017;127(8):1808-1815. doi:10.1002/lary.26489