Internal emitters such as Strontium-90 (90Sr) pose a substantial health risk during and immediately after a nuclear disaster or detonation of an improvised device. The environmental persistency and potency of 90Sr calls for urgent development of high-throughput tests to establish levels of exposure and to help triage potentially exposed individuals who were in the immediate area of the disaster. In response to these concerns, our team focused on developing a robust metabolomic profile for 90Sr exposure in urine using a mouse model. The sensitivity of modern time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) combined with the separation power of ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) was used to determine perturbations in the urinary metabolome of mice exposed to 90Sr. The recently developed statistical suite, MetaboLyzer, was used to explore the mass spectrometry data. The results indicated a significant change in the urinary abundances of metabolites pertaining to butanoate metabolism, vitamin B metabolism, glutamate and fatty acid oxidation. All of these pathways are either directly or indirectly connected to the central energy production pathway, the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. To our knowledge, this is the first in vivo metabolomics to evaluate the effects of exposure to 90Sr using the easily accessible biofluid, urine.

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