Metabolomics study of cat small intestine during the early stage of Toxoplasma gondii oocyst formation identifies potential biomarkers -raw datas neg mode
Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic intracellular protozoan parasite that can invade, replicate and survive in almost all cells of warm-blooded animals. Toxoplasmosis infection threatens the life of the fetus or can cause morbidity in the infant. As the only definitive host of T. gondii, felids spread the pathogen mainly by forming oocysts in the small intestines and discharging the oocysts into the ambient environment, consequently polluting water, vegetables, and meat products. In this study, we used untargeted metabolomics technology to study the changes in metabolites that occurred during the early stage of oocyst formation in the cat small intestine following T. gondii infection and attempted to identify metabolic biomarkers that could potentially be used as diagnostic molecular markers in the future. Domestic cats (Felis catus) were infected with T. gondii Pru tissue cysts, and samples of their small intestinal epithelium were collected at 2 and 4 days post-infection (DPI) for metabolic analysis. LC-MS/MS and multivariate statistical analysis were employed to detect metabolomic signatures that discriminated between the infected and control groups. A total of 1,673 ions and 1,201 ions were obtained in the positive and negative modes, respectively. Of these ions, 175 were up-regulated and 127 were down-regulated in the positive ion mode; whereas, 123 were up-regulated and 81 were down-regulated in the negative ion mode. Three commonly altered ions (0.74_313.0414m/z, 8.82_615.2621m/z and 8.16_325.2362m/z) were determined to have potential research value. Seventy common metabolic pathways were enriched at two time points, with arginine biosynthesis, pyrimidine metabolism, pantothenate and CoA biosynthesis being the three most significant pathways related to T. gondii. The area under the curve (AUC) of differential metabolites combined with relevant literature analysis showed that N-Methylpelletierine and 3,3-Difluoro-17-methyl-5alpha-androstan-17beta-ol have higher predictability and better potential application value than other metabolites. Our analysis of metabolic markers during the early stage of T. gondii oocyst formation in the small intestine of the definitive host (cat) provided novel insight for understanding oocyst development and a theoretical basis for the application of potential biomarkers.