Salehi M A, Nilsson IA, Figueira J, Thornton LM, Abdulkarim I, Pålsson E, Bulik CM, Landén M
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol 49 (-) 1-10 [2021-08-00; online 2021-03-18]
Our understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms underlying anorexia nervosa (AN) is incomplete. The aim was to conduct a metabolomics profiling of serum samples from women with AN (n = 65), women who have recovered from AN (AN-REC, n = 65), and age-matched healthy female controls (HC, n = 65). Serum concentrations of 21 metabolites were measured using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR). We used orthogonal partial least-squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) modeling to assign group classification based on the metabolites. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to test for metabolite concentration differences across groups. The OPLS-DA model could distinguish between the AN and HC groups (p = 9.05 × 10-11 R2Y = 0.36, Q2 = 0.37) and between the AN-REC and HC groups (p = 8.47 × 10-6, R2Y = 0.36, Q2 = 0.24,), but not between the AN and AN-REC groups (p = 0.63). Lower methanol concentration in the AN and AN-REC group explained most of the variance. Likewise, the strongest finding in the univariate analyses was lower serum methanol concentration in both AN and AN-REC compared with HC, which withstood adjustment for body mass index (BMI). We report for the first time lower serum concentrations of methanol in AN. The fact that low methanol was also found in recovered AN suggests that low serum concentration of methanol could either be trait marker or a scar effect of AN.