Acute stress may trigger systemic biochemical and physiological changes in living organisms, leading to a rapid loss of homeostasis, which can be gradually reinstated by self-regulatory mechanisms and/or drug intervention strategy. However, such a sophisticated metabolic regulatory process has so far been poorly understood, especially from a holistic view. Urinary metabolite profiling of Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to cold temperature (-10°C) for 2 h using GC/MS in conjunction with modern multivariate statistical techniques revealed drastic biochemical changes as evidenced by fluctuations of urinary metabolites and demonstrated the protective effect of total ginsenosides (TGs) in ginseng extracts on stressed rats. The metabonomics approach enables us to visualize significant alterations in metabolite expression patterns as a result of stress-induced metabolic responses and post-stress compensation, and drug intervention. Several major metabolic pathways including catecholamines, glucocorticoids, the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, tryptophan (nicotinate), and gut microbiota metabolites were identified to be involved in metabolic regulation and compensation required to restore homeostasis.
- Acute cold stress
- Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry
- Metabolic profiling
- Multivariate statistical analysis
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