Untargeted serum metabolomic analysis reveals a role for purinergic signaling in FPIES

Daniel Lozano-Ojalvo, Xin Chen, David Dunkin, Charuta Agashe, Mary Grace Baker, J. Andrew Bird, Elena Molina, Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn, M. Cecilia Berin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Food protein–induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) is a non–IgE-mediated food allergy with a typical onset in infancy. Its symptoms are distinct from those of IgE-mediated food allergies and include severe repetitive vomiting, lethargy, and pallor. FPIES reactions are associated with TH17 cytokines and a systemic innate immune activation; however, the link between immune activation and symptoms is poorly understood. Objective: Our aim was to use an untargeted metabolomics approach to identify novel pathways associated with FPIES reactions. Methods: Serum samples were obtained before, during, and after oral food challenge (OFC) (10 subjects with FPIES and 10 asymptomatic subjects), and they were analyzed by untargeted metabolomics. Two-way ANOVA with false discovery rate adjustment was used for analysis of metabolites. Stomach and duodenal biopsy specimens from non-FPIES donors were stimulated with adenosine in vitro and serotonin measured by immunoassay. Results: The levels of a total of 34 metabolites, including inosine and urate of the purine signaling pathway, were increased during OFCs performed on the patients with symptomatic FPIES compared with the levels found for asymptomatic subjects. Expression of the purine receptors P2RX7 and P2RY10 and the ectonucleotidase CD73 in peripheral blood was significantly reduced after OFC of the patients with FPIES. The level of the serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetate was significantly elevated after reaction. Adenosine stimulation of gastric and duodenal biopsy specimens from FPIES-free donors induced a significant release of serotonin, suggesting a link between purinergic pathway activation and serotonin release. Conclusions: Activation of the purinergic pathway during FPIES reactions provides a possible mechanism connecting inflammation and vomiting by triggering serotonin release from gastric and duodenal mucosa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)797-802
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023


  • ATP
  • adenosine
  • metabolomics
  • purine metabolism
  • serotonin


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