Heritability of urinary amines, organic acids, and steroid hormones in children

TitleHeritability of urinary amines, organic acids, and steroid hormones in children
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsHagenbeek, FA, van Dongen, J, Pool, R, Harms, AC, Roetman, PJ, Fanos, V, van Keulen, BJ, Walker, BR, Karu, N, Pol, HEHulshoff, Rotteveel, J, Finken, MJJ, Vermeiren, RRJM, Kluft, C, Bartels, M, Hankemeier, T, Boomsma, DI
Keywordsamines, children, classical twin design, heritability, metabolites, organic acids, steroid hormones, urine

Variation in metabolite levels reflects individual differences in genetic and environmental factors. Here, we investigated the role of these factors in urinary metabolomics data in children. We examined the effects of sex and age on 86 metabolites, as measured on three metabolomics platforms that target amines, organic acids, and steroid hormones. Next, we estimated their heritability in a twin cohort of 1300 twins (age range: 5.7-12.9 years). We observed associations between age and 50 metabolites and between sex and 21 metabolites. The monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) correlations for the urinary metabolites indicated a role for non-additive genetic factors for 50 amines, 13 organic acids, and 6 steroids. The average broad-sense heritability for these amines, organic acids, and steroids was 0.49 (range: 0.25-0.64), 0.50 (range: 0.33-0.62), and 0.64 (range: 0.43-0.81), respectively. For 6 amines, 7 organic acids, and 4 steroids the twin correlations indicated a role for shared environmental factors and the average narrow-sense heritability was 0.50 (range: 0.37-0.68), 0.50 (range; 0.23-0.61), and 0.47 (range: 0.32-0.70) for these amines, organic acids, and steroids. We conclude that urinary metabolites in children have substantial heritability, with similar estimates for amines and organic acids, and higher estimates for steroid hormones.