Tuberculosis (TB) is one of three major infectious diseases, and the control of TB is becoming more difficult because of the emergence of multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant strains. In this study, we explored the 1H NMR-based metabolomics of TB using an aerobic TB infection model. Global profiling was applied to characterize the responses of C57Bl/6 mice to an aerobic infection with virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB). The metabolic changes in organs (i.e., the lung, the target organ of TB, and the spleen and liver, remote systemic organs) and in serum from control and MTB-infected rats were investigated to clarify the host-pathogen interactions in MTB-infected host systems. Principal components analysis (PCA) and orthogonal partial least-squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) score plots showed distinct separation between control and MTB-infected rats for all tissue and serum samples. Several tissue and serum metabolites were changed in MTB-infected rats, as compared to control rats. The precursors of membrane phospholipids, phosphocholine, and phosphoethanolamine, as well as glycolysis, amino acid metabolism, nucleotide metabolism, and the antioxidative stress response were altered based on the presence of MTB infection. This study suggests that NMR-based global metabolite profiling of organ tissues and serum could provide insight into the metabolic changes in host infected aerobically with virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
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