Objective: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder with the symptoms
of cognitive impairment and decreased learning and memory abilities. Metabolomics can reflect
the related functional status and physiological and pathological changes in the process of AD. Moxibustion
is a unique method in traditional Chinese medicine, which has been used in the treatment and prevention
of diseases for thousands of years.
Methods: A total of 32 APP/PS1 mice were randomly divided into the model group, moxibustion group,
moxa smoke group and smoke-free moxibustion group (n=8/group), using the random number table
method, while eight C57BL/6 mice were used as the control group. The five groups were measured for
20 min/day, 6 days/week, for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks’ experiment, all the mice were placed in metabolic
cages to collect urine continuously for 24 hours, for UPLC-MS analysis.
Results: Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to identify the different metabolites among the
five groups, and partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) was performed to reveal the effects
on the metabolic variance. Sixteen potential biomarkers were identified among the five groups,
primarily related to amino acid metabolism, starch metabolism, sucrose metabolism, interconversion of
pentose and glucuronate, and aminoacyl biosynthesis. There were 17 differences in the potential metabolites
between the control and model groups, involving the metabolism of amino acid, purine,
pyrimidine, nicotinic acid and nicotinamide, and biosynthesis of pantothenate and coenzyme A. Fifteen
potential biomarkers were identified between the model and moxibustion groups, related to starch metabolism,
sucrose metabolism, interconversion of pentose and glucuronate, glyoxylate, dicarboxylate
anions and some amino acid metabolism.
Conclusion: Moxibustion can regulate the metabolism of substance and energy by improving the synthesis
and decomposition of carbohydrates and amino acids in APP/PS1 transgenic AD model mice.