Rapid assessment of microbiota changes in individuals with autism spectrum disorder using bacteria-derived membrane vesicles in urine

Yunjin Lee, Jin Young Park, Eun Hwa Lee, Jinho Yang, Bo Ri Jeong, Yoon Keun Kim, Ju Young Seoh, So Hyun Lee, Pyung Lim Han, Eui Jung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have altered gut microbiota, which appears to regulate ASD symptoms via gut microbiota-brain interactions. Rapid assessment of gut microbiota profiles in ASD individuals in varying physiological contexts is important to understanding the role of the microbiota in regulating ASD symptoms. Microbiomes secrete extracellular membrane vesicles (EVs) to communicate with host cells and secreted EVs are widely distributed throughout the body including the blood and urine. In the present study, we investigated whether bacteria-derived EVs in urine are useful for the metagenome analysis of microbiota in ASD individuals. To address this, bacterial DNA was isolated from bacteria-derived EVs in the urine of ASD individuals. Subsequent metagenome analysis indicated markedly altered microbiota profiles at the levels of the phylum, class, order, family, and genus in ASD individuals relative to control subjects. Microbiota identified from urine EVs included gut microbiota reported in previous studies and their up- and down-regulation in ASD individuals were partially consistent with microbiota profiles previously assessed from ASD fecal samples. However, overall microbiota profiles identified in the present study represented a distinctive microbiota landscape for ASD. Particularly, the occupancy of g_Pseudomonas, g_Sphingomonas, g_Agrobacterium, g_Achromobacter, and g_Roseateles decreased in ASD, whereas g_Streptococcus, g_Akkermansia, g_Rhodococcus, and g_Halomonas increased. These results demonstrate distinctively altered gut microbiota profiles in ASD, and validate the utilization of urine EVs for the rapid assessment of microbiota in ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-317
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Neurobiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Experimental Neurobiology 2017.


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Bacteria-derived EVs
  • Extracellular membrane vesicles
  • Gut microbiota
  • Urine marker


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