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Metabonomics and Metabolomics


  1. David J. Grainger1,
  2. Jeremy K. Nicholson2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/3527600906.mcb.200400114

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine

How to Cite

Grainger, D. J. and Nicholson, J. K. 2006. Metabonomics and Metabolomics. Reviews in Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

  2. 2

    Department of Biological Chemistry, Imperial College, London, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Metabonomics is the study of systemic biochemical profiles and regulation of function in whole organisms by analyzing biofluids and tissues. Like genomics (the study of the complete repertoire of genes in an organism) and proteomics (the study of the protein complement of a tissue or cell), metabonomics can provide a holistic overview of the current physiological status of an organism, and its response to external stressors. Here we review the technological approaches to generating metabolic profiles, highlighting the advantages and disadvantages of each methodology, as well as the various strategies for extracting useful conclusions from the very large datasets that can be generated by such profiling. Metabonomics can be applied to a wide range of biological applications, including predictive toxicology, probing the physiology of disease both in animal models and in man, and to make clinically useful diagnoses of disease. With examples of each of these applications, we illustrate the potential of metabonomics to contribute to our understanding of complex biological systems in a post-genomic era where we understand many of the components of living systems, but few of their dynamic interactions.


  • Chromatography;
  • Mass Spectrometry;
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance;
  • Regression Modeling