Metabolite profiling may elucidate changes in metabolic pathways under various physiological or nutritional conditions. In the present study two groups of female mink characterized as having a high (16 mink) or low (14 mink) residual feed intake were investigated during restrictive and ad libitum feeding. Blood samples were collected three times during the experimental period; during restrictive feeding, four days and three weeks after the change to ad libitum feeding. Plasma samples were subjected to liquid chromatography mass spectrometry non-targeted metabolomics. Subjecting data to principal component analysis showed that there was no grouping of the data according to the residual feed intake. In contrast, data clearly grouped according to feeding level. Identification of the metabolites responsible for this grouping showed that the plasma level of metabolites related to mobilization of energy was high during restrictive feeding, e.g. betaine, carnitine, and creatine. During ad libitum feeding the plasma level of metabolites that can be characterized as biomarkers of meat intake (creatinine, carnosine, 1- and 3 methylhistidine) was high. The plasma level of lysophosphatidylcholine species was highest after four days of ad libitum feeding suggesting a short term imbalance in the transport or metabolism of these metabolites when changing the feeding level.
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part D: Genomics and Proteomics, 2012, Vol 7, p. 322-327