Current evidence indicates that carotid atherosclerosis is an independent risk factor for cognitive impairment. Serum metabolomic analysis holds significant promise for uncovering the relationship between carotid atherosclerosis and cognitive impairment. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the profiling of serum carbonyl compounds in subclinical carotid atherosclerosis (SCA) patients and to explore the relationship between serum carbonyl compounds and cognitive performance. We enrolled 51 SCA patients and 45 healthy control individuals using carotid ultrasound assessment. All the participants were subjected to a neuropsychological assessment and their fasting serum samples were collected for untargeted stable isotope-labeling strategy combined with liquid chromatography–double precursor ion scan–mass spectrometry analysis. Compared with the control, the SCA group showed lower scores in global cognition, immediate memory, verbal fluency, executive function, and visual attention. For the isotope-labeling strategy combined with liquid chromatography–double precursor ion scan–mass spectrometry analysis, 149 potential carbonyl candidates were discovered in the pooled serum. In the SCA serum, 41 carbonyl compounds showed significantly increased levels and 14 carbonyl compounds showed significantly decreased levels. In addition, six carbonyl compounds involved in the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E were correlated with cognitive performance. A negative correlation was observed between cognitive performance and the levels of octanal, nonanal, α-tocopherolquinone, and heptanal, respectively. A positive correlation was observed between cognitive performance and the levels of acetophenone and 1-(3-aminopropyl)-4-aminobutanal, respectively. In summary, the SCA individuals have poor cognitive performance, which may be reflected by aberrant serum carbonyl compound profiles.
aDepartment of Neurology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University
bKey Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry for Biology and Medicine (Ministry of Education), Department of Chemistry, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
Correspondence to Jun-Jian Zhang, MD, PhD, Department of Neurology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, No. 169 Donghu Road, Wuhan, Hubei 430071, China Tel: +86 027 6781 2885; fax: +86 027 8733 0795; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received September 21, 2018
Accepted September 27, 2018