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The dental calculus metabolome in modern and historic samples.

Published version
Peer-reviewed

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Type

Article

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Authors

Velsko, Irina M 
Overmyer, Katherine A 
Speller, Camilla 
Klaus, Lauren 
Collins, Matthew J 

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Dental calculus is a mineralized microbial dental plaque biofilm that forms throughout life by precipitation of salivary calcium salts. Successive cycles of dental plaque growth and calcification make it an unusually well-preserved, long-term record of host-microbial interaction in the archaeological record. Recent studies have confirmed the survival of authentic ancient DNA and proteins within historic and prehistoric dental calculus, making it a promising substrate for investigating oral microbiome evolution via direct measurement and comparison of modern and ancient specimens. OBJECTIVE: We present the first comprehensive characterization of the human dental calculus metabolome using a multi-platform approach. METHODS: Ultra performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) quantified 285 metabolites in modern and historic (200 years old) dental calculus, including metabolites of drug and dietary origin. A subset of historic samples was additionally analyzed by high-resolution gas chromatography-MS (GC-MS) and UPLC-MS/MS for further characterization of metabolites and lipids. Metabolite profiles of modern and historic calculus were compared to identify patterns of persistence and loss. RESULTS: Dipeptides, free amino acids, free nucleotides, and carbohydrates substantially decrease in abundance and ubiquity in archaeological samples, with some exceptions. Lipids generally persist, and saturated and mono-unsaturated medium and long chain fatty acids appear to be well-preserved, while metabolic derivatives related to oxidation and chemical degradation are found at higher levels in archaeological dental calculus than fresh samples. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicate that certain metabolite classes have higher potential for recovery over long time scales and may serve as appropriate targets for oral microbiome evolutionary studies.

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Keywords

Archaeology, Dental plaque, GC–MS, Metabolomics, Oral microbiome, UPLC–MS/MS

Journal Title

Metabolomics

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

1573-3882
1573-3890

Volume Title

13

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC