GC/MS-based urinary metabolomics reveals systematic differences in metabolism and ethanol response between Sprague-Dawley and Wistar rats

Xianfu Gao, Aihua Zhao, Mingmei Zhou, Jingchao Lin, Yunping Qiu, Mingming Su, Wei Jia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


Metabolic differences of experimental animals contribute to pharmacological variations. Sprague-Dawley (SD) and Wistar rats are commonly used experimental rats with similar genetic background, and considered interchangeable in practical researches. In this study, we present the urinary metabolomics results, based on gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC/MS), which reveal the systematic metabolic differences between SD and Wistar rats under different perturbations such as fasting, feeding, and consecutive acute ethanol interventions. The different metabotypes between the two strains of rats involve a number of metabolic pathways and symbiotic gut microflora. SD rats exhibited higher individualized metabolic variations in the fasting and feeding states, and a stronger ability to recover from an altered metabolic profile with less hepatic injury from the consecutive ethanol exposure, as compared to Wistar rats. In summary, the GC/MS-based urinary metabolomics studies demonstrated an intrinsic metabolic difference between SD and Wistar rats, which warrants consideration in experimental design using these animal strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-374
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011



  • Ethanol intervention
  • GC/MS
  • Metabolomics
  • Sprague-Dawley rats
  • Systematic difference
  • Wistar rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry

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