Night shift work affects urine metabolite profiles of nurses with early chronotype

Markus Rotter, Stefan Brandmaier, Marcela Covic, Katarzyna Burek, Johannes Hertel, Martina Troll, Erik Bader, Jonathan Adam, Cornelia Prehn, Birgit Rathkolb, Martin Hrabe de Angelis, Hans Jörgen Grabe, Hannelore Daniel, Thomas Kantermann, Volker Harth, Thomas Illig, Dirk Pallapies, Thomas Behrens, Thomas Brüning, Jerzy AdamskiHeiko Lickert, Sylvia Rabstein, Rui Wang-Sattler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Night shift work can have a serious impact on health. Here, we assess whether and how night shift work influences the metabolite profiles, specifically with respect to different chronotype classes. We have recruited 100 women including 68 nurses working both, day shift and night shifts for up to 5 consecutive days and collected 3640 spontaneous urine samples. About 424 waking-up urine samples were measured using a targeted metabolomics approach. To account for urine dilution, we applied three methods to normalize the metabolite values: creatinine-, osmolality-and regression-based normalization. Based on linear mixed effect models, we found 31 metabolites significantly (false discovery rate <0.05) affected in nurses working in night shifts. One metabolite, acylcarnitine C10:2, was consistently identified with all three normalization methods. We further observed 11 and 4 metabolites significantly associated with night shift in early and late chronotype classes, respectively. Increased levels of medium-and long chain acylcarnitines indicate a strong impairment of the fatty acid oxidation. Our results show that night shift work influences acylcarnitines and BCAAs, particularly in nurses in the early chronotype class. Women with intermediate and late chronotypes appear to be less affected by night shift work.

Original languageEnglish
Article number45
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Chronotypes
  • Metabolomics
  • Night shift work
  • Urine normalization
  • Women’s’ health


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