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In Scientific reports ; h5-index 158.0

BACKGROUND : Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency leads to impaired cortisol biosynthesis. Treatment includes glucocorticoid supplementation. We studied the specific metabolomics signatures in CAH patients using two different algorithms.

METHODS : In a case-control study of CAH patients matched on sex and age with healthy control subjects, two metabolomic analyses were performed: one using MetaboDiff, a validated differential metabolomic analysis tool and the other, using Predomics, a novel machine-learning algorithm.

RESULTS : 168 participants were included (84 CAH patients). There was no correlation between plasma cortisol levels during glucocorticoid supplementation and metabolites in CAH patients. Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase enzyme activity was correlated with ACTH (rho coefficient = -0.25, p-value = 0.02), in CAH patients but not in controls subjects. Overall, 33 metabolites were significantly altered in CAH patients. Main changes came from: purine and pyrimidine metabolites, branched aminoacids, tricarboxylic acid cycle metabolites and associated pathways (urea, glucose, pentose phosphates). MetaboDiff identified 2 modules that were significantly different between both groups: aminosugar metabolism and purine metabolism. Predomics found several interpretable models which accurately discriminated the two groups (accuracy of 0.86 and AUROC of 0.9).

CONCLUSION : CAH patients and healthy control subjects exhibit significant differences in plasma metabolomes, which may be explained by glucocorticoid supplementation.

Nguyen Lee S, Prifti Edi, Ichou Farid, Leban Monique, Funck-Brentano Christian, Touraine Philippe, Salem Joe-Elie, Bachelot Anne