Characterization of the Human Gut Microbiota Metabolite Profile in Autism Spectrum Disorder
The human gut microbiota is an ecosystem of microbes existing in symbiosis with the human host. If the microbiota is disrupted, dysbiosis (imbalance) of the component microbes could contribute to the etiology of some diseases. One ailment connected to gut dysbiosis is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A subgroup of ASD individuals suffers from gut abnormalities, dysbiosis, and abnormal levels of gut-microbial metabolites. To investigate the connection between these factors, fecal samples from ASD participants and neurotypical controls were analyzed via proton nuclear magnetic resonance, revealing a subgroup of ASD samples with abnormal levels of many metabolites. Fecal water samples from this subgroup of ASD participants also induced increased interleukin-8 secretion from human colonocytes (Caco-2 cells) in vitro. The data suggest that the interaction between the gut microbiota and the human host is pivotal in understanding the underlying mechanism behind the functioning of the gut microbiota and host symptomology in ASD.