National Science Review, Volume 7 , Issue 7 : 1157-1168(2020) https://doi.org/10.1093/nsr/nwaa086

Plasma metabolomic and lipidomic alterations associated with COVID-19

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  • ReceivedApr 1, 2020
  • AcceptedApr 23, 2020
  • PublishedApr 28, 2020


The pandemic of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a global public health crisis. The symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe, but the physiological changes associated with COVID-19 are barely understood. In this study, we performed targeted metabolomic and lipidomic analyses of plasma from a cohort of patients with COVID-19 who had experienced different symptoms. We found that metabolite and lipid alterations exhibit apparent correlation with the course of disease in these patients, indicating that the development of COVID-19 affected their whole-body metabolism. In particular, malic acid of the TCA cycle and carbamoyl phosphate of the urea cycle result in altered energy metabolism and hepatic dysfunction, respectively. It should be noted that carbamoyl phosphate is profoundly down-regulated in patients who died compared with patients with mild symptoms. And, more importantly, guanosine monophosphate (GMP), which is mediated not only by GMP synthase but also by CD39 and CD73, is significantly changed between healthy subjects and patients with COVID-19, as well as between the mild and fatal cases. In addition, dyslipidemia was observed in patients with COVID-19. Overall, the disturbed metabolic patterns have been found to align with the progress and severity of COVID-19. This work provides valuable knowledge about plasma biomarkers associated with COVID-19 and potential therapeutic targets, as well as an important resource for further studies of the pathogenesis of COVID-19.

Funded by

Strategic Priority Research Program of CAS(XDB29010300 to X.Z.)

National Science and Technology Major Project(2020ZX09201-001 to D.-Y.Z.)

National Science and Technology Major Project(2018ZX10101004 to X.Z.)

National Natural Science Foundation of China(81971818)

National Natural Science Foundation of China(81772047 to Y.S.)

National Natural Science Foundation of China(81873964 to Y.Q.)

National Natural Science Foundation of China(31670161 to X.Z.)

Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities(20720200013 to S-H.L.)

a grant from Clinical Research Center for Anesthesiology of Hubei Province(2019ACA167)


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