C. Menni, et al., Metabolomic Markers Reveal Novel Pathways of Ageing and Early Development in Human Populations. International Journal of Epidemiology, 2013.


Metabolon results led to:
- A 22 metabolite panel strongly correlated with age and age-related clinical traits
- A single novel metabolite highly correlated with age and ageing traits (e.g. lung function, bone mineral density)

Key metabolomic observations:
- Validating the approach, the identification of compounds previously reported to associate with aging such as steroids and creatinine
- Novel discovery of C-glycosyltryptophan (C-glyTrp)

Ageing is a multifactorial process with genetic, early developmental, lifestyle, and environmental factors. Discovery of molecular signatures of the aging process can serve to better understand how to control it with diet, lifestyle or pharmaceutical interventions. Thus, investigators used metabolomics to profile 6055 subjects (32–81 years). Statistical analysis produced a panel of 22 metabolites which could be used as a surrogate for age (R2=59%). One of these was the novel metabolite, C-glycosyltryptophan (C-glyTrp). C-glyTrp is strongly associated with a developmental determinant of healthy ageing, birth weight. Further suggesting C-glyTrp may be involved in involved in both ageing and early development were the results of overlaying epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) data that showed that C-glyTrp associated with CpG sites associated with a gene (WDR85) involved in translation, the cell cycle and embryonic development. These results illustrate how metabolomics combined with epigenetics can reveal key molecular mechanisms influencing human health and ageing.

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