Multiomics Analysis of Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain and Cerebrospinal Fluid Metabolomics in Cognitively Normal and Impaired Adults

Ronald C. Eldridge, Karan Uppal, Mahsa Shokouhi, M. Ryan Smith, Xin Hu, Zhaohui S. Qin, Dean P. Jones, Ihab Hajjar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Integrating brain imaging with large scale omics data may identify novel mechanisms of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We integrated and analyzed brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) metabolomics to elucidate metabolic mechanisms and create a “metabolic map” of the brain in prodromal AD. Methods: In 145 subjects (85 cognitively normal controls and 60 with MCI), we derived voxel-wise gray matter volume via whole-brain structural MRI and conducted high-resolution untargeted metabolomics on CSF. Using a data-driven approach consisting of partial least squares discriminant analysis, a multiomics network clustering algorithm, and metabolic pathway analysis, we described dysregulated metabolic pathways in CSF mapped to brain regions associated with MCI in our cohort. Results: The multiomics network algorithm clustered metabolites with contiguous imaging voxels into seven distinct communities corresponding to the following brain regions: hippocampus/parahippocampal gyrus (three distinct clusters), thalamus, posterior thalamus, parietal cortex, and occipital lobe. Metabolic pathway analysis indicated dysregulated metabolic activity in the urea cycle, and many amino acids (arginine, histidine, lysine, glycine, tryptophan, methionine, valine, glutamate, beta-alanine, and purine) was significantly associated with those regions (P < 0.05). Conclusion: By integrating CSF metabolomics data with structural MRI data, we linked specific AD-susceptible brain regions to disrupted metabolic pathways involving nitrogen excretion and amino acid metabolism critical for cognitive function. Our findings and analytical approach may extend drug and biomarker research toward more multiomics approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number796067
JournalFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Volume13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 25 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • amino acids (AA)
  • gray matter atrophy
  • integrative “omics,”
  • metabolomics (OMICS)
  • mild cognition impairment
  • MRI imaging
  • multiomics analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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