Systems toxiology study of doxorubicin on rats using ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry based metabolomics

A metabolomics-based systems toxicology approach was used to profile the urinary metabolites for the toxicity related processes and pathogenesis induced by doxorubicin (DOX) to rats. Endogenous metabolite profiles were obtained with ultra performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) for rats receiving different single dosages of DOX (5, 10 or 20 mg/kg) prior and at three time points after dosage. Principal components analysis (PCA) allowed detection of two major systemic metabolic changes with the time due to the induced toxicity. Furthermore, Analysis of variance (ANOVA) Simultaneous Component Analysis (ASCA) was applied to reveal the variation caused by time and dose, and their interaction in a multivariate way. Finally, various metabolites involved in the toxic processes could be identified using their accurate mass and MS(n) experiments, and possible mechanisms of the toxicity of DOX were postulated. In conclusion, metabolomics as a systems toxicology approach was able to provide comprehensive information on the dynamic process of drug induced toxicity. In addition, detection of the systemic toxic effects could be obtained with metabolomics at an earlier stage compared to the clinical chemistry and histopathological assessment.


J. Wang, T. Reijmers, L. Chen, R. van der Hoeve, M. Wang, S. Peng, T. Hankemeier, G. Zu, J. van der Greef
Publication data (text): 
2009; 5 (4): 407-418
Published in: 
Date of publication: 
December, 2009
Status of the publication: 
Sino Dutch Institute for Preventive and Personalized Medicine