Fecal and blood microbiota profiles and presence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in obese versus lean subjects

Yeojun Yun, Han Na Kim, Eun ju Lee, Seungho Ryu, Yoosoo Chang, Hocheol Shin, Hyung Lae Kim, Tae Hun Kim, Kwon Yoo, Hwi Young Kim

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68 Scopus citations


Pathophysiological background in different phenotypes of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) remains to be elucidated. The aim was to investigate the association between fecal and blood microbiota profiles and the presence of NAFLD in obese versus lean subjects. Demographic and clinical data were reviewed in 268 health checkup examinees, whose fecal and blood samples were available for microbiota analysis. NAFLD was diagnosed with ultrasonography, and subjects with NAFLD were further categorized as obese (body mass index (BMI) 25) or lean (BMI <25). Fecal and blood microbiota communities were analyzed by sequencing of the V3-V4 domains of the 16S rRNA genes. Correlation between microbiota taxa and NAFLD was assessed using zero-inflated Gaussian mixture models, with adjustment of age, sex, and BMI, and Bonferroni correction. The NAFLD group (n = 76) showed a distinct bacterial community with a lower biodiversity and a far distant phylotype compared with the control group (n = 192). In the gut microbiota, the decrease in Desulfovibrionaceae was associated with NAFLD in the lean NAFLD group (log2 coefficient (coeff.) = -2.107, P = 1.60E-18), but not in the obese NAFLD group (log2 coeff. = 1.440, P = 1.36E-04). In the blood microbiota, Succinivibrionaceae showed opposite correlations in the lean (log2 coeff. = -1.349, P = 5.34E-06) and obese NAFLD groups (log2 coeff. = 2.215, P = 0.003). Notably, Leuconostocaceae was associated with the obese NAFLD in the gut (log2 coeff. = -1.168, P = 0.041) and blood (log2 coeff. = -2.250, P = 1.28E-10). In conclusion, fecal and blood microbiota profiles showed different patterns between subjects with obese and lean NAFLD, which might be potential biomarkers to discriminate diverse phenotypes of NAFLD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0213692
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019

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© 2019 Yun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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