Metabolic homeostasis is critical for all biological processes in the brain. The metabolites are considered the best indicators of cell states and their rapid fluxes are extremely sensitive to cellular changes. While there are a few studies on the metabolomics of Parkinson's disease, it lacks longitudinal studies of the brain metabolic pathways affected by aging and the disease. Using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectroscopy (UPLC/MS), we generated the metabolomics profiling data from the brains of young and aged male PD-related α-synuclein A53T transgenic mice as well as the age- and gender-matched non-transgenic (nTg) controls. Principal component and unsupervised hierarchical clustering analyses identified distinctive metabolites influenced by aging and the A53T mutation. The following metabolite set enrichment classification revealed the alanine metabolism, redox and acetyl-CoA biosynthesis pathways were substantially disturbed in the aged mouse brains regardless of the genotypes, suggesting that aging plays a more prominent role in the alterations of brain metabolism. Further examination showed that the interaction effect of aging and genotype only disturbed the guanosine levels. The young A53T mice exhibited lower levels of guanosine compared to the age-matched nTg controls. The guanosine levels remained constant between the young and aged nTg mice, whereas the aged A53T mice showed substantially increased guanosine levels compared to the young mutant ones. In light of the neuroprotective function of guanosine, our findings suggest that the increase of guanosine metabolism in aged A53T mice likely represents a protective mechanism against neurodegeneration, while monitoring guanosine levels could be applicable to the early diagnosis of the disease.
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