About this Research Topic
Interindividual variations in therapeutic outcome are very common in clinic due to the complicated interactions between genetic and environmental factors. Accordingly, the concept of personalized medicine (or precision medicine) arouses great interest currently in the context of advances in biomedical research and high throughput analytical technology. The ultimate goal of personalized medicine is to enable clinicians to prescribe the right medicine to the right patient at the right time with maximum efficacy and minimal toxicity. To achieve these goals, great efforts have been paid to correlate drug responses with host genetic polymorphisms, i.e. pharmacogenomics during past decades. Although there have been some impressive achievements in pharmacogenomics, pharmacogenomics is blind to the impact of environmental elements, as well as the co-metabolism between host and gut microbiota, which also plays important roles in pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics.
Metabolomics / metabonomics is relatively young compared to genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics, which is to analyze the variation of endogenous metabolites in response to various interventions in biological system such as cells, tissues and body fluids. Metabolomics is the integrative readout of both genetic and environmental impacts, and has been successfully applied in a variety of studies such as biomarker discoveries, mechanistic study of disease and drug activity, drug toxicity and metabolism. Meanwhile, the concept of pharmacometabonomics (pharmacometabolomics) was proposed and defined as “the prediction of the outcome of a drug or xenobiotic intervention in an individual based on a mathematical model of pre-intervention metabolite signatures” by Nicholson et al in 2006. Pharmacometabonomics has been used to seek metabolic biomarkers that could predict different responses of clinical drugs by identifying differential metabolites at baseline and correlating their variations with the therapeutic outcomes.
It is of high significance to apply either metabolomics or pharmacometabonomics in pharmacological study. On one way, the untargeted and targeted metabolomics will help to acquire novel discovery on mechanism underlying drug activity or toxicity, in addition to its conventional pharmacological action. On the other way, pharmacometabonomics have great potential for precision medicine by identifying predictive biomarkers for drug efficacy or toxicity in advance. Consequently, we proposed the current topic of “Metabolomics, pharmacometabonomics and pharmacology”, in which both the research and review papers on this topic are welcome. We welcome submissions on topic of “metabolomics and pharmacology, pharmacometabonomics and drug activity/toxicity”, but not limited to western medicine-related studies. Mechanistic studies of active components from herbs by using conventional pharmacology and metabolomic approaches are also welcome.
Keywords: metabolomics, pharmacometabonomics, precision medicine, drug efficacy, drug toxicity
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