Analyzing postprandial metabolomics data using multiway models: a simulation study

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Background: Analysis of time-resolved postprandial metabolomics data can improve the understanding of metabolic mechanisms, potentially revealing biomarkers for early diagnosis of metabolic diseases and advancing precision nutrition and medicine. Postprandial metabolomics measurements at several time points from multiple subjects can be arranged as a subjects by metabolites by time points array. Traditional analysis methods are limited in terms of revealing subject groups, related metabolites, and temporal patterns simultaneously from such three-way data. Results: We introduce an unsupervised multiway analysis approach based on the CANDECOMP/PARAFAC (CP) model for improved analysis of postprandial metabolomics data guided by a simulation study. Because of the lack of ground truth in real data, we generate simulated data using a comprehensive human metabolic model. This allows us to assess the performance of CP models in terms of revealing subject groups and underlying metabolic processes. We study three analysis approaches: analysis of fasting-state data using principal component analysis, T0-corrected data (i.e., data corrected by subtracting fasting-state data) using a CP model and full-dynamic (i.e., full postprandial) data using CP. Through extensive simulations, we demonstrate that CP models capture meaningful and stable patterns from simulated meal challenge data, revealing underlying mechanisms and differences between diseased versus healthy groups. Conclusions: Our experiments show that it is crucial to analyze both fasting-state and T0-corrected data for understanding metabolic differences among subject groups. Depending on the nature of the subject group structure, the best group separation may be achieved by CP models of T0-corrected or full-dynamic data. This study introduces an improved analysis approach for postprandial metabolomics data while also shedding light on the debate about correcting baseline values in longitudinal data analysis.

TidsskriftBMC Bioinformatics
Antal sider22
StatusUdgivet - 2024

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
The work presented in this article is supported by Research Council of Norway project 300489 (L. L, S. Y, M. A. R, A. K. S, E. A) and Novo Nordisk Foundation Grant NNF19OC0057934 (L. L, M. A. R, A. K. S, E. A).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

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