Plasma metabolomics of intermediate and neovascular age-related macular degeneration patients

Sabrina L. Mitchell, Chunyu Ma, William K. Scott, Anita Agarwal, Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Jonathan L. Haines, Dean P. Jones, Karan Uppal, Milam A. Brantley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To characterize metabolites and metabolic pathways altered in intermediate and neovascular age-related macular degeneration (IAMD and NVAMD), high resolution untargeted metabolomics was performed via liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry on plasma samples obtained from 91 IAMD patients, 100 NVAMD patients, and 195 controls. Plasma metabolite levels were compared between: AMD patients and controls, IAMD patients and controls, and NVAMD and IAMD patients. Partial least-squares discriminant analysis and linear regression were used to identify discriminatory metabolites. Pathway analysis was performed to determine metabolic pathways altered in AMD. Among the comparisons, we identified 435 unique discriminatory metabolic features. Using computational methods and tandem mass spectrometry, we identified 11 metabolic features whose molecular identities had been previously verified and confirmed the molecular identities of three additional discriminatory features. Included among the discriminatory metabolites were acylcarnitines, phospholipids, amino acids, and steroid metabolites. Pathway analysis revealed that lipid, amino acid, and vitamin metabolism pathways were altered in NVAMD, IAMD, or AMD in general, including the carnitine shuttle pathway which was significantly altered in all comparisons. Finally, few discriminatory features were identified between IAMD patients and controls, suggesting that plasma metabolic profiles of IAMD patients are more similar to controls than to NVAMD patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3141
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Acylcarnitines
  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Carnitine shuttle
  • IAMD
  • Metabolomics
  • Phospholipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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