This observational study catalogues the overlap in metabolites between matched bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and plasma, identifies the degree of congruence between these metabolomes in human and mouse, and determines how molecules may change in response to cigarette smoke (CS) exposure. Matched BALF and plasma was collected from mice (ambient air or CS-exposed) and humans (current or former smokers), and analyzed using mass spectrometry. There were 1155 compounds in common in all 4 sample types; fatty acyls and glycerophospholipids strongly overlapped between groups. In humans and mice, more than half of the metabolites present in BALF were also present in plasma. Mouse BALF and human BALF had a strong positive correlation with 2040 metabolites in common, suggesting that mouse models can be used to interrogate human lung metabolome changes. While power was affected by small sample size in the mouse study, the BALF metabolome appeared to be more affected by CS than plasma. CS-exposed mice showed increased plasma and BALF glycerolipids and glycerophospholipids. This is the first report cataloguing the metabolites present across mouse and human, BALF and plasma. Findings are relevant to translational studies where mouse models are used to examine human disease, and where plasma may be interrogated in lieu of BALF or lung tissue.
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