Untargeted metabolomics to evaluate polymyxin B toxicodynamics following direct intracerebroventricular administration into the rat brain

Maytham Hussein, Sara Oberrauch, Rafah Allobawi, Linda Cornthwaite-Duncan, Jing Lu, Rajnikant Sharma, Mark Baker, Jian Li, Gauri G. Rao, Tony Velkov

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2 Citations (Scopus)


There is a dearth of studies focused on understanding pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and toxicodynamics of polymyxins following direct administration to the central nervous system (CNS). In this study, for the first time, untargeted metabolomics were employed to ascertain the perturbations of brain metabolism in the rat cerebral cortex following direct brain injection of 0.75 mg/kg polymyxin B (1 and 4 h) through the right lateral ventricle. In the right cortex metabolome, ICV polymyxin B induced a greater perturbation at 1 h compared to negligible effect at 4 h. Pathway enrichment analysis showed that sphingolipid, arginine, and histidine metabolism, together with aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis were significantly affected in the right cortex metabolome. Furthermore, intracerebroventricular (ICV) polymyxin B dysregulated the two arms (CDP-choline and CDP-ethanolamine) of the Kennedy pathway that governs the de novo biosynthesis of neuronal phospholipids. Importantly, the key intermediates of metabolic pathways that maintain cellular redox balance (e.g., glutathione metabolism) and mitochondrial function (e.g., electron transport chain) were markedly depleted. The abundance of key metabolites (e.g., N-acetyl-L-glutamate) associated with diverse CNS disorders (e.g., neurodegenerative disease) were also significantly perturbed. The biological significance of these metabolic perturbations on the CNS includes impaired oxidant-antioxidant balance, impaired neuronal lipid homeostasis and mitochondrial dysfunction. Furthermore, ICV polymyxin B caused a significant alteration in the abundance of several metabolic biomarkers associated with cerebral ischemia, oxidative stress as well as certain neurological disorders. These findings may facilitate the development of new pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic strategies to attenuate polymyxins ICV related CNS toxicities and stimulate the discovery of safer next-generation polymyxin-like lipopeptide antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6067-6077
Number of pages11
JournalComputational and Structural Biotechnology Journal
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • CNS toxicity
  • Intraventricular injection
  • Metabolomics
  • Polymyxin B

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