GC/MS-based urinary metabolomics reveals systematic differences in metabolism and ethanol response between Sprague–Dawley and Wistar rats

Key Laboratory of Systems Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, 200031 China
Metabolomics (Impact Factor: 3.86). 09/2011; 7(3):363-374. DOI: 10.1007/s11306-010-0252-5


Metabolic differences of experimental animals contribute to pharmacological variations. Sprague–Dawley (SD) and Wistar rats
are commonly used experimental rats with similar genetic background, and considered interchangeable in practical researches.
In this study, we present the urinary metabolomics results, based on gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC/MS),
which reveal the systematic metabolic differences between SD and Wistar rats under different perturbations such as fasting,
feeding, and consecutive acute ethanol interventions. The different metabotypes between the two strains of rats involve a
number of metabolic pathways and symbiotic gut microflora. SD rats exhibited higher individualized metabolic variations in
the fasting and feeding states, and a stronger ability to recover from an altered metabolic profile with less hepatic injury
from the consecutive ethanol exposure, as compared to Wistar rats. In summary, the GC/MS-based urinary metabolomics studies
demonstrated an intrinsic metabolic difference between SD and Wistar rats, which warrants consideration in experimental design
using these animal strains.

KeywordsMetabolomics–Systematic difference–Sprague–Dawley rats–Wistar rats–Ethanol intervention–GC/MS

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