Methamphetamine (MA) is an illicit psychostimulant, and its abuse has become an international public health problem. MA intoxication can cause life-threatening hyperthermia, renal and liver failure, cardiac arrhythmias, and neurological damage. To investigate the relationship between the underlying mechanism of such intoxication and metabolic networks, mass spectrometry-based metabolomics experiments were performed on Sprague-Dawley rats treated with MA at 10mgkg-1h-1 for 4h. Using a combination of gas chromatography-time-of-flight mass spectrometry and capillary electrophoresis-tandem mass spectrometry, global and targeted analyses were performed on biological samples collected during 0-24 and 72-96h (for urine), and at 24 and 96h (for plasma) after the last drug administration. Body temperature and plasma biochemical parameters were also measured to detect abnormal reactions in neuronal and other several tissues. 5-Oxoproline, saccharic acid, uracil, 3-hydroxybutyrate (3-HB), adipic acid, glucose, glucose 6-phosphate, fructose 1,6-bisphosphate, and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediates, such as fumarate, were proposed as potential biomarkers related to MA-induced intoxications. In particular, the observation of decreased TCA cycle intermediates and 3-HB and increased glucose suggested that high doses of MA inhibit biogenic energy production by glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation via the TCA cycle, and the beta-oxidation of fatty acids. These results may provide not only a clue to clarify the underlying mechanism of diverse intoxication effects, but also biological fluid-based diagnostic and forensic methods with which to objectively demonstrate intoxication without directly determining the drug.
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