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Gut microbiota profile and selected plasma metabolites in type 1 diabetes without and with stratification by albuminuria

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AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Abnormal gut microbiota and blood metabolome profiles have been reported both in children and adults with uncomplicated type 1 diabetes as well as in adults with type 1 diabetes and advanced stages of diabetic nephropathy. In this study we aimed to investigate the gut microbiota and a panel of targeted plasma metabolites in individuals with type 1 diabetes of long duration without and with different levels of albuminuria.

METHODS: In a cross-sectional study we included 161 individuals with type 1 diabetes and 50 healthy control individuals. Individuals with type 1 diabetes were categorised into three groups according to historically measured albuminuria: (1) normoalbuminuria (<3.39 mg/mmol); (2) microalbuminuria (3.39-33.79 mg/mmol); and (3) macroalbuminuria (≥33.90 mg/mmol). From faecal samples, the gut microbiota composition at genus level was characterised by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and in plasma a targeted profile of 31 metabolites was analysed with ultra HPLC coupled to MS/MS.

RESULTS: Study participants were aged 60 ± 11 years (mean ± SD) and 42% were women. The individuals with type 1 diabetes had had diabetes for a mean of 42 ± 15 years and had an eGFR of 75 ± 25 ml min-1 (1.73 m)-2. Measures of the gut microbial beta diversity differed significantly between healthy controls and individuals with type 1 diabetes, either with micro- or macroalbuminuria. Taxonomic analyses showed that 79 of 324 genera differed in relative abundance between individuals with type 1 diabetes and healthy controls and ten genera differed significantly among the three albuminuria groups with type 1 diabetes. For the measured plasma metabolites, 11 of 31 metabolites differed significantly between individuals with type 1 diabetes and healthy controls. When individuals with type 1 diabetes were stratified by the level of albuminuria, individuals with macroalbuminuria had higher plasma concentrations of indoxyl sulphate and L-citrulline than those with normo- or microalbuminuria and higher plasma levels of homocitrulline and L-kynurenine compared with individuals with normoalbuminuria. Whereas plasma concentrations of tryptophan were lower in individuals with macroalbuminuria compared with those with normoalbuminuria.

CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: We demonstrate that individuals with type 1 diabetes of long duration are characterised by aberrant profiles of gut microbiota and plasma metabolites. Moreover, individuals with type 1 diabetes with initial stages of diabetic nephropathy show different gut microbiota and plasma metabolite profiles depending on the level of albuminuria. Graphical abstract.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDiabetologia
Volume63
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)2713-2724
Number of pages12
ISSN0012-186X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

    Research areas

  • 16S RNA sequencing, Diabetes, Diabetic kidney disease, Diabetic nephropathy, Gut microbiota, Metabolome, Plasma metabolome, Renal complications, Targeted metabolites, Type 1 diabetes

ID: 60929027