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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic autoimmune disease whose major characteristics persistent joint inflammation that results in joint destruction and failure of the function. Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) rat is an autoimmune disease model and in many ways shares features with RA. The CIA is associated with systemic manifestations, including alterations in the metabolism. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy-based metabolomics has been successfully applied to the perchloric acid extract of the joint tissue of CIA rat and control rat for the analysis of aqueous metabolites. GPC (Glycerophosphocholine), carnitine, acetate, and creatinine were important discriminators of CIA rats as compared to control rats. Level of lactate (significance; p = 0.004), alanine (p = 0.025), BCA (Branched-chain amino acids) (p = 0.006) and creatinine (p = 0.023) was significantly higher in CIA rats as compared to control rats. Choline (p = 0.038) and GPC (p = 0.009) were significantly reduced in CIA rats as compared to control rats. Choline to GPC correlation was good and negative (Pearson correlation = -0.63) for CIA rats as well as for control rats (Pearson correlation = -0.79). All these analyses collectively considered as metabolic fingerprinting of the joint tissue of CIA rat as compared to control rat. The metabolic fingerprinting of joint tissue of CIA rats was different as compared to control rats. The metabolic fingerprinting reflects inflammatory disease activity in CIA rats with synovitis, demonstrating that underlying inflammatory process drives significant changes in metabolism that can be measured in the joint tissue. Therefore, the outcome of this study may be helpful for understanding the mechanism of metabolic processes in RA. This may be also helpful for the development of advanced diagnostic methods and therapy for RA.
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