This is the study of small molecules which are the chemical fingerprints resulting from all the biochemical reactions in an organism, from making energy to building proteins. Tracking these metabolites enables researchers to understand metabolism in cells, tissues and the whole body. By discovering which metabolites differ in healthy animals compared to those with disease, Purina’s research can improve understanding about the underlying mechanisms of disease.
Myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) is the most common heart problem in dogs. This condition stresses the heart and may progress to heart failure. Discovering how metabolic pathways are altered in MMVD is an important step in understanding the cellular mechanisms that damage the mitral valve.
Purina scientists used a combination of transcriptomics and metabolomics to study dogs with MMVD. Results identified 54 serum metabolites that differed significantly between healthy and MMVD dogs, including many that indicated abnormal energy metabolism in the diseased group.1,2
1. Li, Q., Freeman, L. M., Rush, J. E., Huggins, G. S., Kennedy, A. D., Labuda, J. A., & Hannah, S. S. (2015). Veterinary medicine and multi-omics research for future nutrition targets: metabolomics and transcriptomics of the common degenerative mitral valve disease in dogs. OMICS, 19(8), 461–470.
2. López‐Alvarez, J., Elliott, J., Pfeiffer, D., Chang, Y. M., Mattin, M., Moonarmart, W., & Hezzell, M. J. (2015). Clinical severity score system in dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 29(2), 575–581.