Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 408, Issue 4, pp 1125–1135 | Cite as

Comprehensive analysis of serum metabolites in gestational diabetes mellitus by UPLC/Q-TOF-MS

  • Tianhu Liu
  • Jiaxun Li
  • Fengcheng Xu
  • Mengni Wang
  • Shijia Ding
  • Hongbing XuEmail author
  • Fang DongEmail author
Research Paper


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) refers to the first sign or onset of diabetes mellitus during pregnancy rather than progestation. In recent decades, more and more research has focused on the etiology and pathogenesis of GDM in order to further understand GDM progress and recovery. Using an advanced metabolomics platform based on ultra-performance liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UPLC/Q-TOF-MS), we explored the changes in serum metabolites between women with GDM and healthy controls during and after pregnancy. Some significant differences were discovered using multivariate analysis including partial least-squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) and orthogonal PLS-DA (OPLS-DA). The dysregulated metabolites were further compared and verified in several databases to understand how these compounds might function as potential biomarkers. Analyses of the metabolic pathways associated with these potential biomarkers were subsequently explored. A total of 35 metabolites were identified, contributing to GDM progress to some extent. The identified biomarkers were involved in some important metabolic pathways including glycine, serine, and threonine metabolism; steroid hormone biosynthesis; tyrosine metabolism; glycerophospholipid metabolism; and fatty acid metabolism. The above mentioned metabolic pathways mainly participate in three major metabolic cycles in humans, including lipid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, and amino acid metabolism. In this pilot study, the valuable comprehensive analysis gave us further insight into the etiology and pathophysiology of GDM, which might benefit the feasibility of a rapid, accurate diagnosis and reasonable treatment as soon as possible but also prevent GDM and its related short- and long-term complications.


Gestational diabetes mellitus Metabolomics Biomarkers Pathogenesis UPLC/Q-TOF-MS 



This study was supported by the fundamental and advanced research projects (20140121) and science and technology research projects (Chongqing Education Commission, KJ1400221). The authors also sincerely thank the research subjects who participated in the studies described in this report.

Compliance with ethical standards

The study protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of Chongqing Medical University, China. All participants signed an informed consent prior to inclusion in this study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

216_2015_9211_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (49 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 49 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pi County People’s HospitalChengduChina
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical UniversityChongqingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Clinical Laboratory Diagnostics (Ministry of Education), College of Laboratory MedicineChongqing Medical UniversityChongqingChina
  4. 4.Department of Endocrinology &The First BranchThe First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical UniversityChongqingChina

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