A longitudinal multi-matrix metabolomics approach for the identification of biomarkers of early feline renal disease

01 October 2022 → 30 September 2024
Funding by bilateral agreement (private and foundations)
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Laboratory medicine not elsewhere classified
    • Diagnostics not elsewhere classified
    • Kidney diseases
chronic kidney disease Metabolomics
Project description

New early biomarkers of renal disease in cats are urgently required, as current diagnostic tests such as serum creatinine and SDMA only increase if renal function has already been irreversibly deteriorated, resulting in rather late therapeutic interventions instead of inhibiting the disease early in its course. This project exploits the analytical power of state-of-the-art metabolomics technologies to discover biomarkers of early renal damage in multiple biofluids such as blood and urine. Metabolomics is the science of characterizing all low-molecular weight metabolites in biomatrices to provide a functional fingerprint of the current physiological status. The first section of this project aims at identifying multivariate differences between the metabolomes of cats diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and healthy senior cats. Compounds that are associated with renal damage will be discovered following an untargeted approach without a priori knowledge. Moreover, a hypothesis driven targeted search for discriminative metabolites will be conducted by use of preselected biomarker panels based on in-depth literature review. In the second phase the identified biomarkers will be validated in early renal disease stages, i.e., before changes in traditional markers occur. For this, a group of healthy senior cats will be followed until a given percentage develops renal azotemia. Blood and urine samples of animals in pre-azotemic stages are of particular interest to search for associations between the identified biomarkers and ongoing renal damage. Eventually, this project is expected to yield novel renal biomarkers as candidates for future clinical validation, paving the way for development of clinically applicable diagnostic assays