The causes and etiology of Crohn's disease (CD) are currently unknown although both host genetics and environmental factors play a role. Here we used non-targeted metabolic profiling to determine the contribution of metabolites produced by the gut microbiota towards disease status of the host. Ion Cyclotron Resonance Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry (ICR-FT/MS) was used to discern the masses of thousands of metabolites in fecal samples collected from 17 identical twin pairs, including healthy individuals and those with CD. Pathways with differentiating metabolites included those involved in the metabolism and or synthesis of amino acids, fatty acids, bile acids and arachidonic acid. Several metabolites were positively or negatively correlated to the disease phenotype and to specific microbes previously characterized in the same samples. Our data reveal novel differentiating metabolites for CD that may provide diagnostic biomarkers and/or monitoring tools as well as insight into potential targets for disease therapy and prevention.
Jansson, J., Willing, B., Lucio, M., Fekete, A., Dicksved, J., Halfvarson, J., … Schmitt-Kopplin, P. (2009). Metabolomics reveals metabolic biomarkers of Crohn’s disease. PLoS ONE, 4(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0006386