Surowiec I, Gjesdal CG, Jonsson G, Norheim KB, Lundstedt T, Trygg J, Omdal R
Rheumatol. Int. 36 (5) 703-711 [2016-05-00; online 2016-01-25]
Fatigue occurs in all chronic inflammatory diseases, in cancer, and in some neurological conditions. Patients often regard fatigue as one of their most debilitating problems, but currently there is no established treatment and the mechanisms that lead to and regulate fatigue are incompletely understood. Our objective was to more completely understand the physiology of this phenomenon. Twenty-four patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) naïve to treatment with biological drugs were enrolled for the study. Fatigue was measured with a fatigue visual analogue scale (fVAS). Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) plasma samples were subjected to gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC/MS-TOF)-based metabolite profiling. Obtained metabolite data were evaluated by multivariate data analysis with orthogonal projections to latent structures (OPLS) method to pinpoint metabolic changes related to fatigue severity. A significant multivariate OPLS model was obtained between the fVAS scores and the measured metabolic levels. Increasing fatigue scores were associated with a metabolic pattern characterized by down-regulation of metabolites from the urea cycle, fatty acids, tocopherols, aromatic amino acids, and hypoxanthine. Uric acid levels were increased. Apart from fatigue, we found no other disease-related variables that might be responsible for these changes. Our MS-based metabolomic approach demonstrated strong associations between fatigue and several biochemical patterns related to oxidative stress.