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Functional analysis of gut microbiota and immunoinflammation in children with autism spectrum disorders.

Carissimi, Claudia; Laudadio, Ilaria; Palone, Francesca; Fulci, Valerio; Cesi, Vincenzo; Cardona, Francesco; Alfonsi, Chiara; Cucchiara, Salvatore; Isoldi, Sara; Stronati, Laura.
Dig Liver Dis ; 51(10): 1366-1374, 2019 10.
Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31320306


Recent evidence implicates gut microbiota (GM) and immune alterations in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). We assess GM profile and peripheral levels of immunological, neuronal and bacterial molecules in ASD children and controls. Alarmin HMGB1 was explored as a non-invasive biomarker to monitor gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.


Thirty ASD children and 14 controls entered into the study. GM metagenomic analysis was performed for 16 ASD patients and 7 controls. GM functional profile was assessed by GO term analysis. Blood levels of IL-1ß, TNFα, TGFß, IL-10, INFγ, IL-8, lipopolysaccharide, Neurotensin, Sortilin1 and GSSG/GSH ratio were analyzed in all subjects by ELISA. Fecal HMGB1 was analyzed by Western blot.


We observed a significant decrease in bacterial diversity. Furthermore, 82 GO terms underrepresented in ASD. Four of them pointed at 3,3 phenylpropionate catabolism and were imputable to Escherichia coli (E. coli) group. Serum levels of TNFα, TGFß, NT, and SORT-1 increased in ASD patients. Fecal levels of HMGB1 correlated with GI sign severity in ASD children.


We suggest that a decrease of E. coli might affect the propionate catabolism in ASD. We report occurrence of peripheral inflammation in ASD children. We propose fecal HMGB1 as a non-invasive biomarker to detect GI symptoms.