Metabolomic analysis of serum from rats following long-term intake of Chinese sausage

  • Minxian Rong
  • Pei Wang
  • Yuesheng Qiu
  • Yungang Liu
  • Yiyuan Wang
  • Hong Deng
Keywords: Chinese sausage, metabolomics, NDMA, liver damage, GC-MS


Introduction: Owing to the contamination of chemical pollutants, especially nitrosamines and their precursors, in Chinese sausage, long-term intake of Chinese sausage may have potential health effects.

Objection: This study investigated the effects of long-term intake of Chinese sausage with different contaminations of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) on rat liver and the potential biomarkers in the serum.

Methods: Serum metabolomic analysis was performed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry at weeks 7, 17, 25, and 33; simultaneously, liver histopathological examination was conducted and its relationship with the serum metabolomics was also investigated.

Results: In the study, long-term intake of Chinese sausage with different NDMA contents induced significant changes in serum metabolites and liver histopathology in rats. Metabonomic analysis showed that seven metabolites – β-alanine, 3-aminoisobutyric acid, aminooxyacetic acid, D-alanyl-D-alanine, pelargonic acid, palmitic acid (PA), and linoleic acid (LA) – in three sausage diet groups were significantly decreased at four time points, where three other metabolites were notably increased, which included putrescine, ethanolamine phosphate, and taurine. Among the various treatments, the NDMA (sausage-free) group demonstrated the most remarkable changes. Phenylalanine was decreased followed by an increase, and tyrosine persistently declined, both of which were elevated in the NDMA group. In addition, the histopathological result was consistent with that of the serum metabolomic analysis, and the changes in serum metabolites in each sausage diet group and the NDMA group were consistently associated with disorders of lipids, amino acid, and energy metabolism.

Conclusion: This work indicates that excessive NDMA content in sausage may cause liver damage.


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How to Cite
Rong M, Wang P, Qiu Y, Liu Y, Wang Y, Deng H. Metabolomic analysis of serum from rats following long-term intake of Chinese sausage. Food & Nutrition Research [Internet]. 9Jul.2018 [cited 17Jul.2018];62. Available from:
Original Articles