Relationship between Urinary Metabolomic Profiles and Depressive Episode in Antarctica

Kazuhiko Kasuya, Satoshi Imura, Takashi Ishikawa, Masahiro Sugimoto, Takeshi Inoue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Antarctic expeditions have a high risk of participant depression owing to long stays and isolated environments. By quantifying the stress state and changes in biomolecules over time before the onset of depressive symptoms, predictive markers of depression can be explored. Here, we evaluated the psychological changes in 30 participants in the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Urinary samples were collected every three months for a year, and comprehensive urinary metabolomic profiles were quantified using liquid chromatography time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Five participants showed major depressive episodes (PHQ-9 ≥ 10) at 12 months. The urinary metabolites between these participants and the 25 unaffected participants were compared at individual metabolite and pathway levels. The individual comparisons showed the most significant differences at 12 months in 14 metabolites, including ornithine and beta-alanine. Data from shorter stays showed less significant differences. In contrast, pathway and enrichment analyses showed the most significant difference at three months and a less significant difference at longer stays. These time transitions of urinary metabolites could help in the development of urinary biomarkers to detect subjects with depressive episodes at an early stage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number943
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jan


  • Antarctic regions
  • biomarkers
  • mental disorders
  • metabolomics
  • urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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