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Disturbed lipid and amino acid metabolisms in COVID-19 patients

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posted on 11.03.2022, 09:40 authored by Mojgan Masoodi, Manuela Peschka, Stefan Schmiedel, Munif Haddad, Maike Frye, Coen Maas, Ansgar Lohse, Samuel Huber, Paulus Kirchhof, Jerzy-Roch Nofer, Thomas Renné
The Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is overwhelming the healthcare systems. Identification of systemic reactions underlying COVID-19 will lead to new biomarkers and therapeutic targets for monitoring and early intervention in this viral infection. We performed targeted metabolomics covering up to 630 metabolites within several key metabolic pathways in plasma samples of 20 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and 37 matched controls. Plasma metabolic signatures specifically differentiated severe COVID-19 from control patients. The identified metabolic signatures indicated distinct alterations in both lipid and amino acid metabolisms in COVID-19 compared to control patient plasma. Systems biology-based analyses identified sphingolipid, tryptophan, tyrosine, glutamine, arginine, and arachidonic acid metabolism as mostly impacted pathways in COVID-19 patients. Notably, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) was significantly reduced in COVID-19 patients and GABA plasma levels allowed for stratification of COVID-19 patients with high sensitivity and specificity. The data reveal large metabolic disturbances in COVID-19 patients and suggest use of GABA as potential biomarker and therapeutic target for the infection.


Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Masoodi M, et al. Disturbed lipid and amino acid metabolisms in COVID-19 patients. J Mol Med (Berl). 2022:1–14.

Publication Date

22 January 2022

PubMed ID



  • Irish Centre for Vascular Biology
  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences


Springer Nature.


  • Published Version (Version of Record)