Differences in Gut Microbiota Profiles between Autoimmune Pancreatitis and Chronic Pancreatitis

Shin Hamada, Atsushi Masamune, Tatsuhide Nabeshima, Tooru Shimosegawa
Tohoku Journal of Experimental Medicine 2018, 244 (2): 113-117
Host-derived factors alter gut microenvironment, and changes in gut microbiota also affect biological functions of host. Alterations of gut microbiota have been reported in a wide variety of diseases, but the whole picture of alterations in pancreatic diseases remains to be clarified. In particular, the gut microbiota may be affected by malnutrition or impaired exocrine pancreas function that is associated with pancreatic diseases. We here conducted comprehensive analysis of gut microbiota in patients with type 1 autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP), a pancreatic manifestation of the systemic IgG4-related disease, and chronic pancreatitis (CP). The two diseases were selected, because altered immune reactions in AIP and/or long-standing malnutrition in CP may influence the gut microbiota. Fecal samples were obtained from 12 patients with AIP before the steroid therapy and 8 patients with CP. Metagenome DNA was extracted, and microbiota was analyzed by next generation sequencing. Gut microbiota profiles were different between patients with AIP and those with CP; namely, the proportions of Bacteroides, Streptococcus and Clostridium species were higher in patients with CP. The reasons for the increased proportion of these bacterial species remain unknown, but may reflect malabsorption and/or decreased pancreatic enzymes, both of which are associated with CP. Incidentally, the identified Streptococcus species are oral cavity inhabitants and also known as pathogens for endocarditis. Despite the small sample size, this study has shown the differences in gut microbiota profiles between AIP and CP. Comprehensive analysis of the gut microbiota may be useful for the differential diagnosis of pancreatic diseases.

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