Metabolomics in diabetic complications
With a global prevalence of 9%, diabetes is the direct cause of millions of deaths each year and is quickly becoming a health crisis. Major long-term complications of diabetes arise from persistent oxidative stress and dysfunction in multiple metabolic pathways. The most serious complications involve vascular damage and include cardiovascular disease as well as microvascular disorders such as nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy. Current clinical analyses like glycated hemoglobin and plasma glucose measurements hold some value as prognostic indicators of the severity of complications, but investigations into the underlying pathophysiology are still lacking. Advancements in biotechnology hold the key to uncovering new pathways and establishing therapeutic targets. Metabolomics, the study of small endogenous molecules, is a powerful toolset for studying pathophysiological processes and has been used to elucidate metabolic signatures of diabetes in various biological systems. Current challenges in the field involve correlating these biomarkers to specific complications to provide a better prediction of future risk and disease progression. This review will highlight the progress that has been made in the field of metabolomics including technological advancements, the identification of potential biomarkers, and metabolic pathways relevant to macro- and microvascular diabetic complications.