Serum metabolites as biomarkers in systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease.

Meier, C; Freiburghaus, K; Bovet, C; Schniering, J; Allanore, Y; Distler, O; Nakas, C; Maurer, B (2020). Serum metabolites as biomarkers in systemic sclerosis-associated interstitial lung disease. Scientific reports, 10(1), p. 21912. Springer Nature 10.1038/s41598-020-78951-6

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Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a severe multi-organ disease with interstitial lung disease (ILD) being the major cause of death. While targeted therapies are emerging, biomarkers for sub-stratifying patients based on individual profiles are lacking. Herein, we investigated how levels of serum metabolites correlated with different stages of SSc and SSc-ILD. Serum samples of patients with SSc without ILD, stable and progressive SSc-ILD as well as of healthy controls (HC) were analysed using liquid targeted tandem mass spectrometry. The best discriminating profile consisted of 4 amino acids (AA) and 3 purine metabolites. L-tyrosine, L-tryptophan, and 1-methyl-adenosine distinguished HC from SSc patients. L-leucine, L-isoleucine, xanthosine, and adenosine monophosphate differentiated between progressing and stable SSc-ILD. In SSc-ILD, both, L-leucine and xanthosine negatively correlated with changes in FVC% predicted. Additionally, xanthosine was negatively correlated with changes in DLco% predicted and positively with the prognostic GAP index. Validation of L-leucine and L-isoleucine by an enzymatic assay confirmed both the sub-stratification of SSc-ILD patients and correlation with lung function and prognosis score. Serum metabolites may have potential as biomarkers for discriminating SSc patients based on the presence and severity of ILD. Confirmation in larger cohorts will be needed to appreciate their value for routine clinical care.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Institute of Clinical Chemistry

UniBE Contributor:

Freiburghaus, Katrin; Bovet, Cédric and Nakas, Christos T.


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Springer Nature




Andrea Stettler

Date Deposited:

28 Dec 2020 17:05

Last Modified:

03 Jan 2021 02:54

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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