Chronobiology International 2022;: 1 - 9

Metabolic profiling of night shift work - The HORMONIT study.

Harding BN, Skene DJ, Espinosa A, Middleton B, Castaño-Vinyals G, Papantoniou K, Navarrete JM, Such P, Torrejón A, Kogevinas M, Baker MG
Mechanistic studies are needed to understand how rotating shift work perturbs metabolic processing. We collected plasma samples (n = 196) from 49 males, rotating car factory shift workers at the beginning and end of a night-shift (22:00-06:00 h) and day-shift (06:00 h-14:00 h). Samples underwent targeted LC-MS/MS metabolomics and concentrations of 130 metabolites were log2-transformed and pareto-scaled. An elastic net selected the most influential metabolites for linear mixed models examining within-person variation in metabolite levels at night-shift end (06:00 h) compared to day-shift start (06:00 h). Quantitative enrichment analysis explored differentially enriched biological pathways between sample time points. We included 20 metabolites (amino acids, biogenic amines, acylcarnitines, glycerophospholipids) in mixed models. Night-shift was associated with changes in concentrations of arginine (geometric mean ratio [GMR] 2.30, 95%CI 1.25, 4.23), glutamine (GMR 2.22, 95%CI 1.53, 3.24), kynurenine (GMR 3.22, 95%CI 1.05, 9.87), lysoPC18:2 (GMR 1.86, 95%CI 1.11, 3.11), lysoPC20:3 (GMR 2.48, 95%CI 1.05, 5.83), PCaa34:2 (GMR 2.27, 95%CI 1.16, 4.44), and PCae38:5 (GMR 1.66, 95%CI 1.02, 2.68). Tryptophan metabolism, glutathione metabolism, alanine metabolism, glycine and serine metabolism, and urea cycle were pathways differing between shifts. Night shift work was associated with changes in metabolites and the perturbation of metabolic and biochemical pathways related to a variety of health outcomes.