LC/MS-based discrimination between plasma and urine metabolomic changes following exposure to ultraviolet radiation by using data modelling

Ali Muhsen Ali*, Chris Monaghan, David J. Muggeridge, Chris Easton, David G. Watson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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This study sought to compare between metabolomic changes of human urine and plasma to investigate which one can be used as best tool to identify metabolomic profiling and novel biomarkers associated to the potential effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

A pilot study of metabolomic patterns of human plasma and urine samples from four adult healthy individuals at before (S1) and after (S2) exposure (UV) and non-exposure (UC) were carried out by using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC–MS).

The best results which were obtained by normalizing the metabolites to their mean output underwent to principal components analysis (PCA) and Orthogonal Partial least squares-discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) to separate pre-from post-of exposure and non-exposure of UV. This separation by data modeling was clear in urine samples unlike plasma samples. In addition to overview of the scores plots, the variance predicted-Q2 (Cum), variance explained-R2X (Cum) and p-value of the cross-validated ANOVA score of PCA and OPLS-DA models indicated to this clear separation. Q2 (Cum) and R2X (Cum) values of PCA model for urine samples were 0.908 and 0.982, respectively, and OPLS-DA model values were 1.0 and 0.914, respectively. While these values in plasma samples were Q2 = 0.429 and R2X = 0.660 for PCA model and Q2 = 0.983 and R2X = 0.944 for OPLS-DA model. LC–MS metabolomic analysis showed the changes in numerous metabolic pathways including: amino acid, lipids, peptides, xenobiotics biodegradation, carbohydrates, nucleotides, Co-factors and vitamins which may contribute to the evaluation of the effects associated with UV sunlight exposure.

The results of pilot study indicate that pre and post-exposure UV metabolomics screening of urine samples may be the best tool than plasma samples and a potential approach to predict the metabolomic changes due to UV exposure. Additional future work may shed light on the application of available metabolomic approaches to explore potential predictive markers to determine the impacts of UV sunlight.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2023


  • LC-MS
  • ultraviolet radiation (UV)
  • urine
  • plasma
  • metabolomic profiling
  • principal components analysis (PCA)
  • orthogonal partial least squares- discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA)


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