Headspace Gas Monitoring of Gut Microbiota Using Targeted and Globally Optimized Targeted Secondary Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry

Headspace Gas Monitoring of Gut Microbiota Using Targeted and Globally Optimized Targeted Secondary Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry

Haorong Li, Mengyang Xu, and Jiangjiang Zhu

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ABSTRACT: This study aimed to develop and incorporate a secondary electrospray ionization (SESI) setup in combination with both targeted tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) and a hybrid metabolomics technique, globally optimized targeted mass spectrometry (GOT-MS), to sensitively detect volatile metabolites from the headspace of in vitro gut microbial culture in a human colonic model (HCM). Two SESI-tandem mass spectrometry panels with a comparable number of targeted metabolites/features (77 compounds in the targeted SESI-MS/MS panel and 75 features in the SESI-GOT-MS/MS panel) were established. The analytical performance of the SESI-GOT-MS/MS method, as well as its biological capability, were examined and compared with the targeted SESI-MS/MS method. As a result, the SESI-GOT-MS/MS method detected a similar number of metabolic features with good reproducibility (coefficient of variation <10%) compared to the targeted SESI-MS/MS method. Both methods showed a comparable ability to differentiate the gut microbial culture with or without the addition of green tea extract (GTE) to a HCM. The results from analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that similar numbers of compounds from targeted SESI-MS/MS and metabolic features from SESI-GOT-MS/MS have significant differences when comparing samples collected from different HCM treatment stages. Partial least-squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) indicated that both methods could clearly differentiate the stages of GTE treatment. In summary, we demonstrated that SESIMS/MS in combination with either targeted or GOT approaches can be a useful tool for monitoring gut microbial metabolism and their response to perturbations.

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