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Article

The Gut Microbiota-Immunity Axis in ALS: A Role in Deciphering Disease Heterogeneity?

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Florence, 50134 Florence, Italy
2
Department of Surgical Sciences and Integrated Diagnostics (DISC), University of Genoa, 16132 Genoa, Italy
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Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, 41125 Modena, Italy
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Neurology Unit, Department of Neuroscience, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di Modena, 41125 Modena, Italy
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Department of Neurosciences, Psychology, Drug Research and Child Health Section of Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Sciences, University of Florence, 50139 Florence, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Bruno Meloni
Biomedicines 2021, 9(7), 753; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9070753
Received: 14 June 2021 / Revised: 22 June 2021 / Accepted: 24 June 2021 / Published: 29 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Neurobiology and Neurologic Disease)
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder with an unknown etiology and no effective treatment, and is characterized by large phenotypic heterogeneity, including variable sites, ages of symptom onset and rates of disease progression. Increasing data support the role of the microbiota-immunity axis in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. In the present study, we compared the inflammatory and microbiota profile of ALS patients with different clinical characteristics, with healthy family caregivers. Measuring a panel of 30 inflammatory cytokines in serum and fecal samples, we observed a distinct cytokine profile both at the systemic and intestinal level in patients compared to controls and even in patients with different clinical phenotypes and progression rates. The 16S targeted metagenome analysis revealed slight differences in patients compared to controls as well as in patients with slow progression, marked by the reduction of butyrate-producing bacteria and a decrease of the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio in ALS. Finally, the short chain fatty acid analysis did not show a different distribution among the groups. If confirmed in a larger number of patients, the inflammatory cytokine profile and the microbial composition could be appropriate biomarker candidates for deciphering ALS heterogeneity. View Full-Text
Keywords: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; microbiota; inflammation; cytokines; short chain fatty acids; heterogeneity; motor neuron disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; microbiota; inflammation; cytokines; short chain fatty acids; heterogeneity; motor neuron disease
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MDPI and ACS Style

Niccolai, E.; Di Pilato, V.; Nannini, G.; Baldi, S.; Russo, E.; Zucchi, E.; Martinelli, I.; Menicatti, M.; Bartolucci, G.; Mandrioli, J.; Amedei, A. The Gut Microbiota-Immunity Axis in ALS: A Role in Deciphering Disease Heterogeneity? Biomedicines 2021, 9, 753. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9070753

AMA Style

Niccolai E, Di Pilato V, Nannini G, Baldi S, Russo E, Zucchi E, Martinelli I, Menicatti M, Bartolucci G, Mandrioli J, Amedei A. The Gut Microbiota-Immunity Axis in ALS: A Role in Deciphering Disease Heterogeneity? Biomedicines. 2021; 9(7):753. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9070753

Chicago/Turabian Style

Niccolai, Elena, Vincenzo Di Pilato, Giulia Nannini, Simone Baldi, Edda Russo, Elisabetta Zucchi, Ilaria Martinelli, Marta Menicatti, Gianluca Bartolucci, Jessica Mandrioli, and Amedeo Amedei. 2021. "The Gut Microbiota-Immunity Axis in ALS: A Role in Deciphering Disease Heterogeneity?" Biomedicines 9, no. 7: 753. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9070753

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