A Metabolomic Study of Biochemical Changes in the Plasma and Urine of Primary Dysmenorrhea Patients Using UPLC - MS Coupled with Pattern Recognition Approach
Primary dysmenorrhea (PD) is characterized by painful menstrual cramps without any organic pathology and has a prevalence of up to 90% in the adolescents. Recent advances in its etiology and pathogenesis are providing more speculative hypotheses focused on integral systems. Using a targeted tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) - based metabolomic platform, we explored the changes of metabolic profiling in plasma / urine simultaneously between PD patients and healthy controls before and after a 3- month herbal medicine (namely Shaofu Zhuyu formula concentrated - granule, SFZYFG) therapy. To detect and identify potential biomarkers associated with PD and SFZYFG treatment, we also performed a combined UPLC?QTOF-MS/MS based metabolomic profiling of the plasma/urine samples, indicating a further deviation of the patients? global metabolic profile from that of controls. The total 35 metabolites (19 in plasma and 16 in urine), up regulated or down regulated (p ? 0.05 or 0.01), were identified and contributed to PD progress. These promising identified biomarkers underpin the metabolic pathway including sphingolipid metabolism, steroid hormone biosynthesis, and glycerophospholipid metabolism are disturbed in PD patients, which were identified by using pathway analysis with MetPA. 24 altered metabolites and 14 biochemical indicators were restored back to the control- like level after the treatment of SFZYFG and could be potential biomarkers for monitoring therapeutic efficacy. These findings may be promise to yield a valuable insight into the pathophysiology of PD and advance the approaches of treatment, diagnosis and prevention of PD and related syndromes.