Journal of Gastroenterology

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 9–20 | Cite as

Diagnosis of gastroenterological diseases by metabolome analysis using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry

  • Masaru YoshidaEmail author
  • Naoya Hatano
  • Shin Nishiumi
  • Yasuhiro Irino
  • Yoshihiro Izumi
  • Tadaomi Takenawa
  • Takeshi Azuma


Recently, metabolome analysis has been increasingly applied to biomarker detection and disease diagnosis in medical studies. Metabolome analysis is a strategy for studying the characteristics and interactions of low molecular weight metabolites under a specific set of conditions and is performed using mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. There is a strong possibility that changes in metabolite levels reflect the functional status of a cell because alterations in their levels occur downstream of DNA, RNA, and protein. Therefore, the metabolite profile of a cell is more likely to represent the current status of a cell than DNA, RNA, or protein. Thus, owing to the rapid development of mass spectrometry analytical techniques metabolome analysis is becoming an important experimental method in life sciences including the medical field. Here, we describe metabolome analysis using liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry, gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS), capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry, and matrix assisted laser desorption ionization–mass spectrometry. Then, the findings of studies about GC–MS-based metabolome analysis of gastroenterological diseases are summarized, and our research results are also introduced. Finally, we discuss the realization of disease diagnosis by metabolome analysis. The development of metabolome analysis using mass spectrometry will aid the discovery of novel biomarkers, hopefully leading to the early detection of various diseases.


Metabolome GC–MS Diagnosis Cancer IBD 



Nuclear magnetic resonance


Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry


Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry


Capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry


Matrix assisted laser desorption ionization–mass spectrometry


High-performance liquid chromatography


Principal component analysis


Partial least squares–discriminant analysis


Human metabolome database


Total ion current chromatogram


Electron impact


Automated Mass Spectral Deconvolution and Identification System


Human Metabolome Technologies






Inflammatory bowel disease


Hepatitis B virus


Dextran sulfate sodium


Tricarboxylic acid


Human serum metabolome


Ulcerative colitis


Crohn’s disease


Severe combined immunodeficiency disease




Interleukin 10



This study was supported in part by grants for the Global COE Program “Global Center of Excellence for Education and Research on Signal Transduction Medicine in the Coming Generation” from MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan) (M. Y., N. H., and T. A.) and for the Young Researchers Training Program for Promoting Innovation from MEXT through the Special Coordination Fund for Promoting Science and Technology (S. N. and T. A.). We thank Shimadzu Co. for their technical support and helpful discussion.

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masaru Yoshida
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Naoya Hatano
    • 2
  • Shin Nishiumi
    • 1
  • Yasuhiro Irino
    • 2
  • Yoshihiro Izumi
    • 1
  • Tadaomi Takenawa
    • 2
    • 4
  • Takeshi Azuma
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal MedicineKobe University Graduate School of MedicineKobeJapan
  2. 2.The Integrated Center for Mass SpectrometryKobe University Graduate School of MedicineKobeJapan
  3. 3.Division of Metabolomics ResearchKobe University Graduate School of MedicineKobeJapan
  4. 4.Division of Lipid Biochemistry, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyKobe University Graduate School of MedicineKobeJapan

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