Antibiotic treatment preventing necrotising enterocolitis alters urinary and plasma metabolomes in preterm pigs

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Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious gut inflammatory condition in premature neonates, onset and development of which depends on the gut microbiome. Attenuation of the gut microbiome by antibiotics can reduce NEC incidence and severity. However, how the antibiotics-suppressed gut microbiome affects the whole-body metabolism in NEC-sensitive premature neonates is unknown. In formula-fed preterm pigs, used as a model for preterm infants, plasma and urinary metabolomes were investigated by LC-MS and (1)H-NMR, with and without antibiotic treatment immediately after birth. While reducing the gut microbiome density and NEC lesions as previously reported, the antibiotic treatment employed in the current study affected the abundance of 44 metabolites in different metabolic pathways. In antibiotics-treated pigs, tryptophan metabolism favoured the kynurenine pathway, relative to the serotonin pathway, as shown by specific metabolites. Metabolites associated with the gut microbiome, including 3-phenyllactic acid, 4-hydroxyphenylacetic acid and phenylacetylglycine, all from phenylalanine, and three bile acids showed lower levels in the antibiotics-treated pigs where the gut microbiome was extensively attenuated. Findings in the current study warrant further investigation of metabolic and developmental consequences of antibiotic treatment in preterm neonates.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Proteome Research
Pages (from-to)3547-3557
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Antibiotics, Metabolomics, Necrotising enterocolitis, UPLC-MS, NMR, Preterm pigs

ID: 183010145