Exocrine Pancreatic Function Modulates Plasma Metabolites Through Changes in Gut Microbiota Composition.

Maik Pietzner, Kathrin Budde, Malte Rühlemann, Henry Völzke, Georg Homuth, Frank U Weiss, Markus M Lerch, Fabian Frost
Year of publication:
Journal title abbreviated:
J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab.
Journal title long:
The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism
Impact factor:
<h4>Purpose</h4>Exocrine pancreatic function is critically involved in regulating the gut microbiota composition. At the same time, its impairment acutely affects human metabolism. How these 2 roles are connected is unknown. We studied how the exocrine pancreas contributes to metabolism via modulation of gut microbiota.<h4>Design</h4>Fecal samples were collected in 2226 participants of the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania (SHIP/SHIP-TREND) to determine exocrine pancreatic function (pancreatic elastase enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) and intestinal microbiota profiles (16S ribosomal ribonucleic acid gene sequencing). Plasma metabolite levels were determined by mass spectrometry.<h4>Results</h4>Exocrine pancreatic function was associated with changes in the abundance of 28 taxa and, simultaneously, with those of 16 plasma metabolites. Mediation pathway analysis revealed that a significant component of how exocrine pancreatic function affects the blood metabolome is mediated via gut microbiota abundance changes, most prominently, circulating serotonin and lysophosphatidylcholines.<h4>Conclusion</h4>These results imply that the effect of exocrine pancreatic function on intestinal microbiota composition alters the availability of microbial-derived metabolites in the blood and thus directly contributes to the host metabolic changes associated with exocrine pancreatic dysfunction.