Metabolomics of commensal microbiota and its implications in inflammatory bowel disease


Defining microbial communities and their by-products will help shape our understanding of the role of the gut microbiota in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The interactions between the microbiota and the host mucosal epithelium is known to be an important factor in IBD disease risk and onset. Therefore, our lab has focused to study the mucosal metabolome from different regions of the colon (cecum and sigmoid) in patients with Crohn’s disease (CD). Along with metagenome data, we have concluded that not only the mucosal metabolome of cecal and sigmoidal regions are unique, but also CD subjects have distinct perturbations in their mucosal metabolome compared to healthy subjects. We have intensified our efforts in identifying microbial products in the host (human CD subjects and mouse models of CD) fecal samples to define a robust metabolomic profile for IBD along with a metagenome profile of the microbial communities. These studies will shed light on the keystone species and their products in gut homeostasis and disease. These studies have also allowed us to improve our bioinformatics capabilities as integration of inter-omic data is informatically demanding.  

Inter-omic correlation between metabolome and metagenome in cecum and sigmoid.

Funding source

CCFA 3153 to Dr. Braun