Fitness for purpose of stabilized stool samples for bile acid metabolite analyses.
- Integrated BioBank of Luxembourg
Biobanks and cohort studies are increasingly utilizing chemical stabilizers to collect and store stool samples for downstream DNA-based microbiome analyses. While stabilizers permit ambient-temperature collection and storage of samples for gut microbiome studies, the use of the same sample type for downstream metabolomics assays has not been explored. Microbiome-metabolomics analysis of fecal samples is increasingly getting attention to further elucidate the mechanisms by which the gut microbiota influences the host. In this study, we evaluated fitness-for-purpose of OMNIgene-GUT-collected stool samples for downstream metabolomics assays in the scope of fecal bile acids (BA) quantification. Biocrates Bile Acids Kit was used for the quantification of BA from eight healthy donors' samples collected in (1) OMNIgene-GUT kit and (2) snap frozen in -80 degrees C in duplicates. A highly selective reversed phase LC-MS/MS analysis method in negative ion multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) detection mode was applied to determine the BA concentrations in each sample.Total fecal BA levels were detectable in OMNIgene-GUT-collected samples (range: 29.9-903.7 pmol/mg). Paired t-test confirmed that there was a significant difference in the total BAs between the OMNIgene-GUT and snap frozen samples (p < 0.05). Extractions from snap frozen samples resulted in higher concentrations of total BAs (range: 243.7-1136.2 pmol/mg). Qualitative differences between individual donors' BA profiles were detectable using the two sample collection methods. No significant difference was found in the relative concentrations of primary (CA, CDCA) or secondary (DCA, LCA, UDCA) unconjugated BAs to the total BA concentrations in OMNIgene-GUT-collected samples as compared with the snap frozen samples (Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test, p > 0.05). Passing-Bablok method comparison and correlation analyis showed a high degree of correlation in the relative concentrations of CA, CDCA, DCA and LCA between OMNIgene-GUT and snap frozen samples. For these four bile acids, the two methods are comparable at an acceptability bias of 30%. We conclude that the OMNIgene-GUT-collected stool samples are fit-for-purpose for downstream fecal bile acids analysis.