Alcohol and substance use are associated with altered metabolome in the first trimester serum samples of pregnant mothers
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CitationLehikoinen, Anni I. Kärkkäinen, Olli K. Lehtonen, Marko AS. Auriola, Seppo OK. Hanhineva, Kati J. Heinonen, Seppo T. (2018). Alcohol and substance use are associated with altered metabolome in the first trimester serum samples of pregnant mothers. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF OBSTETRICS, GYNECOLOGY AND REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY, 223, 79-84. 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2018.02.004.
Although the effects of alcohol on metabolic processes in the body have been studied widely, there do not appear to be any previous reports clarifying how substance abuse changes metabolic profiles of pregnant women during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Our aim was to evaluate the effect of substance abuse, especially alcohol use, on the metabolic profile of pregnant women during the first trimester.
We applied mass spectrometry based non-targeted metabolite profiling of serum collected during routine visit to the hospital between gestational weeks 9 + 0 to 11 + 6 from controls (n = 55), alcohol users (n = 19), drug users (n = 24) and tobacco smokers (n = 40).
We observed statistically significantly differences among the study groups in serum levels of glutamate, glutamine, and serotonin (p-values ≤ 0.0001). The serum levels of glutamate were increased in alcohol and drug using mothers when compared to the controls, whereas levels of glutamine were decreased in alcohol and drug using mothers. In addition, serum levels of serotonin were decreased in alcohol using mothers when compared to the controls.
The present study shows that alcohol and drug use were associated with increased glutamate, and decreased glutamine levels, and alcohol use is associated with decreased serotonin levels. This study serves as a proof-of-concept that the metabolite profile of human first trimester serum samples could be used to detect alcohol exposure during pregnancy.