Stability in metabolic phenotypes and inferred metagenome profiles before the onset of colitis-induced inflammation

Maria Glymenaki, A. Barnes, Stephen O'Hagan, Geoffrey Warhurst, Andrew Mcbain, I.D. Wilson, Douglas Kell, Kathryn Else, Sheena Cruickshank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with altered microbiota composition and metabolism, but it is unclear whether these changes precede inflammation or are the result of it since current studies have mainly focused on changes after the onset of disease. We previously showed differences in mucus gut microbiota composition preceded colitis-induced inflammation and stool microbial differences only became apparent at colitis onset. In the present study, we aimed to investigate whether microbial dysbiosis was associated with differences in both predicted microbial gene content and endogenous metabolite profiles. We examined the functional potential of mucus and stool microbial communities in the mdr1a-/- mouse model of colitis and littermate controls using PICRUSt on 16S rRNA sequencing data. Our findings indicate that despite changes in microbial composition, microbial functional pathways were stable before and during the development of mucosal inflammation. LC-MS-based metabolic phenotyping (metabotyping) in urine samples confirmed that metabolite profiles in mdr1a-/- mice were remarkably unaffected by development of intestinal inflammation and there were no differences in previously published metabolic markers of IBD. Metabolic profiles did, however, discriminate the colitis-prone mdr1a-/- genotype from controls. Our results indicate resilience of the metabolic network irrespective of inflammation. Importantly as metabolites differentiated genotype, genotype-differentiating metabolites could potentially predict IBD risk.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date18 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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