Integrated untargeted and targeted metabolomics to reveal therapeutic effect and mechanism of Alpiniae oxyphyllae fructus on Alzheimer’s disease in APP/PS1 mice
Introduction: Alpiniae oxyphyllae Fructus (AOF) has been abundantly utilized for the treatment of diarrhea, dyspepsia, kidney asthenia, and abdominal pain in China. AOF is effective for treating AD in clinical trials, but its exact mode of action is yet unknown. Methods: In this study, metabolomics was combined to ascertain the alterations in plasma metabolism in APP/PS1 transgenic mice, the therapy of AOF on model mice, and the dynamic variations in 15 bile acids (BAs) concentration. Results: 31 differential biomarkers were finally identified in APP/PS1 group vs. the WT group. The levels of 16 metabolites like sphinganine (Sa), lyso PE (20:2), lysoPC (17:0), glycocholic acid (GCA), deoxycholicacid (DCA) were increased in APP/PS1 group, and those of 15 metabolites like phytosphingosine, cer (d18:0/14:0), and fumaric acid were reduced in APP/PS1 group. After AOF treatment, 29 of the 31 differential metabolites showed a tendency to be back-regulated, and 15 metabolites were significantly back-regulated, including sphinganine (Sa), lyso PE (20:2), glycocholic acid (GCA), deoxycholic acid (DCA). The relationship between BAs level and AD had been received increasing attention in recent years, and we also found notable differences between DCA and GCA in different groups. Therefore, a BAs-targeted metabonomic way was established to determine the level of 15 bile acids in different groups. The consequence demonstrated that primary BAs (CA, CDCA) declined in APP/PS1 model mice. After 3 months of AOF administration, CA and CDCA levels showed an upward trend. Conjugated primary bile acids (TCA, GCA, TCDCA, GCDCA), and secondary bile acids (DCA, LCA, GDCA, TDCA, TLCA GLCA) ascended in APP/PS1 group. After 3 months of AOF treatment, the levels of most BAs decreased to varying degrees. Notably, the metabolic performance of DCA and GCA in different groups was consistent with the predictions of untargeted metabolomics, validating the correctness of untargeted metabolomics. Discussion: According to metabolic pathways of regulated metabolites, it was prompted that AOF ameliorated the symptom of AD mice probably by regulating bile acids metabolism. This study offers a solid foundation for further research into the AOF mechanism for the therapy of AD.