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    Metabolome-wide study finds link between androgen metabolism and dry eye

    Emerging research approach focuses on small molecules of biological samples


    Take home:

    A metabolomics study found a link between dry eye disease and androgen metabolism in females.



    Androgen metabolism may be an important pathway related to dry eye disease in females.

    Researchers—led by Jelle Vehof, MD, of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology at St. Thomas’ Hospital, King’s College London, and the Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands—studied metabolomics to pinpoint their findings in a metabolome-wide study of dry eye disease.

    “Metabolomics is a new emerging field of ‘-omics’ research,” Dr. Vehof said. “Next to the genome, the transcriptome, and the proteome, there is the metabolome. A person’s metabolome refers to a snapshot of all the small molecule metabolites in a biological cell or tissue.”

    Because metabolomes are dynamic and change from second to second, they can help researchers study disease pathogenesis or to scan diagnostic biomarkers, Dr. Vehof said.

    Dr. Vehof and colleagues believed metabolomics would be valuable to study dry eye because they are a measurable direct product of genes and environmental factors.

    “The aim of the study was to explore the relationship between dry eye disease and serum metabolites, given the known associations of dry eye with several metabolic dysfunctions,” according to the study abstract.

    Researchers studied 1,622 population-representative female volunteers from the Twins UK Adult Twin Registry, which has been used to study the genetic basis of various cardiovascular, metabolic, musculoskeletal, and ophthalmic disorders.

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