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Sex-associated differences in baseline urinary metabolites of healthy adults.


The biological basis for gender variability among disease states is not well established. There have been many prior efforts attempting to identify the unique urine metabolomic profiles associated with specific diseases. However, there has been little advancement in investigating the metabolomic differences associated with gender, which underlies the misconception that risk factors and treatment regimens should be the same for both male and female patients. This present study aimed to identify biologically-meaningful baseline sex-related differences using urine samples provided by healthy female and male participants. To elucidate whether urinary metabolic signatures are globally distinct between healthy males and females, we applied metabolomics profiling of primary metabolism with comprehensive bioinformatics analyses on urine samples from 60 healthy males and females. We found that levels of α-ketoglutarate and 4-hydroxybutyric acid increased 2.3-fold and 4.41-fold in males compared to females, respectively. Furthermore, chemical similarity enrichment analysis revealed that differentially expressed metabolites, such as saturated fatty acids, TCA, and butyrates, were significantly related to the gender effect. These findings indicate that there are baseline sex-related differences in urinary metabolism, which should be considered in biomarker discovery, diagnosis, and treatment of bladder diseases, such as interstitial cystitis.

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