Metabolomics and Pain

  • Luigi Barberini
  • Luca Saba
  • Antonio Noto
  • Claudia Fattuoni
  • Gabriele Finco


Metabolomics is a new way for the Systems Biology application to the Medicine, it is supported by the recent advancements in technology for the analytical description of the molecules mixtures in biological fluids, and it is becoming the revolutionary approach to the modern “personalized medicine” for therapies and treatments. Important “insights” come from the metabolomics application to the pain condition description and we will discuss about several classes of molecules and metabolites and several canonical pathways involved in the pain physiology revealed by the metabolomics approach: Sphingolipids , Glycerophospholipids , Steroid hormones . It is important to remark some pitfalls of metabolomics approach, not only for the pain description and treatments, but also for all the medical applications; especially the lack of a generalized application in all the laboratories of the Standard operative procedures (SOP) for the samples preparation and models realization. Nevertheless, Metabolomic can give us an exciting way to progress towards understanding the basic mechanisms of pain in humans and it also can represent a robust approach to some important aspects of this problem as the appropriateness of pharmacological treatments for all the pain condition, stable or progressive in acute or chronic conditions; this allows us to be confident about the paradigm of the metabolomics approach. A final remarkable point will regard the next-generation approaches of Big Data and metabolomics: integrating genomic, proteomic and metabolomic measurements, we will have the possibility to better understand at holistic level the biochemical process of the pain and to identify robust biological markers for pain-related diseases, diagnosis and treatments, efficacy monitoring: this will lead us to the “therapeutic omics approach” with the connection between the Genotype and the Phenotype, about “what could happen” and “what is happened”. These items should give the readers an overview of the situation about metabolomics and pain studies and to stimulate for a deeper approach by means of the bibliography reported.


Metabolomics 1H-NMR spectroscopy GC-MS spectroscopy Sphingolipids Glycerophospholipids Steroid hormones 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luigi Barberini
    • 1
  • Luca Saba
    • 1
  • Antonio Noto
    • 1
  • Claudia Fattuoni
    • 1
  • Gabriele Finco
    • 1
  1. 1.Cittadella Universitaria di Monserrato, University of CagliariSestu (Ca)Italy

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