Microbiota independent effects of oligosaccharides on Caco-2 cells -A semi-targeted metabolomics approach using DI-FT-ICR-MS coupled with pathway enrichment analysis

Milk oligosaccharides (MOS) and galactooligosaccharides (GOS) are associated with many benefits, including anti-microbial effects and immune-modulating properties. However, the cellular mechanisms of these are largely unknown. In this study, the effects of enriched GOS and MOS mixtures from caprine and bovine milk consisting mainly 6'-galactosyllactose, 3'-sialyllactose, and 6'-sialyllactose on Caco-2 cells were investigated, and the treatment-specific metabolomes were described. In the control, the cells were treated with a sugar mix consisting of one-third each of glucose, galactose and lactose. A local metabolomics workflow with pathway enrichment was established, which specifically addresses DI-FT-ICR-MS analyses and includes adaptations in terms of measurement technology and sample matrices. By including quality parameters, especially the isotope pattern, we increased the precision of annotation. The independence from online tools, the fast adaptability to changes in databases, and the specific adjustment to the measurement technology and biomaterial used, proved to be a great advantage. For the first time it was possible to find 71 active pathways in a Caco-2 cell experiment. These pathways were assigned to 12 main categories, with amino acid metabolism and carbohydrate metabolism being the most dominant categories in terms of the number of metabolites and metabolic pathways. Treatment of Caco-2 cells with high GOS and glucose contents resulted in significant effects on several metabolic pathways, whereas the MOS containing treatments resulted only for individual metabolites in significant changes. An effect based on bovine or caprine origin alone could not be observed. Thus, it was shown that MOS and GOS containing treatments can exert microbiome-independent effects on the metabolome of Caco-2 cells.


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