271. Metabolomics Distinction of Cigarette Smokers from Non-Smokers Using Non-Stationary Benchtop Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Analysis of Human Saliva
Implementations of high-field nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) facilities into metabolomics studies are unfortunately restricted by their large dimensions, high costings, and specialist technical staff requirements. Therefore, here the application and practical advantages offered by low-field (60 MHz), compact NMR spectrometers for probing the metabolic profiles of human saliva was explored, as was their value in salivary metabolomics studies. Saliva samples were collected from cigarette smoking (n = 11) and non-smoking (n = 31) human participants. 1H NMR spectra were acquired on both low-field (60 MHz) and medium-field (400 MHz) spectrometers. Metabolomics analyses were employed to evaluate the consistencies of salivary metabolite levels determined, and their abilities to distinguish between smokers and non-smokers. Low-field 1H NMR analysis detected up to 15, albeit permitted the reliable quantification of 5, potentially key diagnostic biomolecules simultaneously (LLOQ values 250–400 μmol/L), although these were limited to those with the most prominent resonances. Such low-field profiles were also found to be suitable for salivary metabolomics investigations, which confirmed the successful discrimination between smoking and non-smoking participant sample donors. Differences observed between these groups were largely ascribable to upregulated salivary levels of methanol, and its metabolite formate, in the smoking group, but higher smoking-mediated concentrations of acetate, propionate and glycine may arise from a diminished salivary flow-rate in these participants. In conclusion, determination of salivary biomolecules using low-field, benchtop 1H NMR analysis techniques were found to be valuable for bioanalytical and metabolomics investigations. Future perspectives for the applications of this non-stationary NMR technique, for example for the on-site ‘point-of-care’ testing of saliva samples for diagnostic oral disease screening purposes at dental surgeries and community pharmacies, are considered.