AIMS: The aim of this study was to investigate the longitudinal plasma metabolic profiles in healthy infants and the potential association with breastfeeding duration and islet autoantibodies predictive of type 1 diabetes.
METHOD: Up to four longitudinal plasma samples from age 3 months from case children who developed islet autoimmunity (n = 29) and autoantibody-negative control children (n = 29) with the HLA DR4-DQ8/DR3-DQ2 genotype were analyzed using two-dimensional gas chromatography coupled to a time-of-flight mass spectrometer for detection of small polar metabolites.
RESULTS: Plasma metabolite levels were found to depend strongly on age, with fold changes varying up to 50% from age 3 to 24 months (p < 0.001 after correction for multiple testing). Tyrosine levels tended to be lower in case children, but this was not significant after correction for multiple testing. Ornithine levels were lower in case children compared with the controls at the time of seroconversion, but the difference was not statistically significant after correcting for multiple testing. Breastfeeding for at least 3 months as compared with shorter duration was associated with higher plasma levels of isoleucine, and lower levels of methionine and 3,4-dihydroxybutyric acid at 3 months of age.
CONCLUSIONS: Plasma levels of several small, polar metabolites changed with age during early childhood, independent of later islet autoimmunity status and sex. Breastfeeding was associated with higher levels of branched-chain amino acids, and lower levels of methionine and 3,4-dihydroxybutyric acid.
- Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
- Blood Chemical Analysis
- Islets of Langerhans/immunology
- Risk Factors
- Breast Feeding
- Child, Preschool
- Case-Control Studies
- Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1/etiology
- Longitudinal Studies
- Infant, Newborn
- Feeding Behavior/physiology