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Identification of blood metabolic biomarkers associated with diabetic distal symmetric sensorimotor polyneuropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

BACKGROUND: Distal symmetric sensorimotor polyneuropathy (DSPN) is a common neurologic complication of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), but the underlying mechanisms and changes in serum metabolites remain largely undefined. This study aimed to characterize the plasma metabolite profiles of participants with T2DM using targeted metabolomics analysis and identify potential biomarkers for DSPN.

METHODS: A combined liquid chromatography MS/MS and direct flow injection were used to quantify plasma metabolite obtained from 63 participants with T2DM, 81 with DSPN, and 33 nondiabetic control participants. A total of 130 metabolites, including amino acids, biogenic amines, sphingomyelins (SM), phosphatidylcholines, carnitines, and hexose, were analyzed.

RESULTS: A total of 16 plasma metabolites and 3 cholesterol-related laboratory parameters were found to have variable importance in the projection score >1.0 and false discovery rate <5.0% between control, T2DM, and DSPN. Among these variables, five serum metabolites, including phenylalanine (AUC = 0.653), alanine (AUC = 0.630), lysine (AUC = 0.622) tryptophan (AUC = 0.620), and SM C16:0 (AUC = 0.630), are potential biomarkers (all p < .05) in distinguishing T2DM with DSPN from those without (AUC = 0.720).

CONCLUSIONS: In this cross-sectional study, derangement of several metabolites in the plasma was observed in T2DM with and without DSPN, and these metabolites may be potential biomarkers for predicting DSPN. Longitudinal studies are warranted.

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