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Disruption of histidine and energy homeostasis in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Authors Diao W, Labaki WW, Han MK, Yeomans L, Sun Y, Smiley Z, Kim JH, McHugh C, Xiang P, Shen N, Sun X, Guo C, Lu M, Standiford TJ, He B, Stringer KA

Received 30 March 2019

Accepted for publication 1 August 2019

Published 3 September 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 2015—2025


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Russell

Wenqi Diao1, Wassim W Labaki2, MeiLan K Han2, Larisa Yeomans3, Yihan Sun4, Zyad Smiley4, Jae Hyun Kim3, Cora McHugh4, Pingchao Xiang5, Ning Shen6, Xiaoyan Sun6, Chenxia Guo6, Ming Lu6, Theodore J Standiford2, Bei He*,7, Kathleen A Stringer*,2,4

1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 2Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; 3Biochemical Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Core, College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; 4NMR Metabolomics Laboratory, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; 5Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Shou-Gang Hospital Affiliated to Peking University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 6Department of Respiratory Medicine, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing 100191, People’s Republic of China; 7Department of Respiratory Medicine, Peking University Health Sciences Center, Third Hospital, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Kathleen A Stringer
College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, USA
Tel +1 734 647 4775

Background: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a systemic condition that is too complex to be assessed by lung function alone. Metabolomics has the potential to help understand the mechanistic underpinnings that contribute to COPD pathogenesis. Since blood metabolomics may be affected by sex and body mass index (BMI), the aim of this study was to determine the metabolomic variability in male smokers with and without COPD who have a narrow BMI range.
Methods: We compared the quantitative proton nuclear magnetic resonance acquired serum metabolomics of a male Chinese Han population of non-smokers without COPD, and smokers with and without COPD. We also assessed the impact of smoking status on metabolite concentrations and the associations between metabolite concentrations and inflammatory markers such as serum interleukin-6 and histamine, and blood cell differential (%). Metabolomics data were log-transformed and auto-scaled for parametric statistical analysis. Mean normalized metabolite concentration values and continuous demographic variables were compared by Student’s t-test with Welch correction or ANOVA with post-hoc Tukey’s test, as applicable; t-test p-values for metabolomics data were corrected for false discovery rate (FDR). A Pearson association matrix was built to evaluate the relationship between metabolite concentrations, clinical parameters and markers of inflammation.
Results: Twenty-eight metabolites were identified and quantified. Creatine, glycine, histidine, and threonine concentrations were reduced in COPD patients compared to non-COPD smokers (FDR ≤15%). Concentrations of these metabolites were inversely correlated with interleukin-6 levels. COPD patients had overall dampening of metabolite concentrations including energy-related metabolic pathways such as creatine metabolism. They also had higher histamine levels and percent basophils compared to smokers without COPD.
Conclusion: COPD is associated with alterations in the serum metabolome, including a disruption in the histidine-histamine and creatine metabolic pathways. These findings support the use of metabolomics to understand the pathogenic mechanisms involved in COPD.
Trial registration, NCT03310177.

Keywords: China, metabolomics, histidine, energy homeostasis, inflammation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

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