Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
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Salivary microbiome differences in prepubertal children with and without adrenal androgen excess.

BACKGROUND: Premature adrenarche is a condition of childhood adrenal androgen excess (AAE) in the absence of gonadotropin-dependent puberty, and has been linked to insulin resistance and progression to metabolic syndrome. Microbial dysbiosis is associated with progression of inflammatory states and chronic diseases. Here, we aimed to examine the salivary microbiomes of children with AAE and assess the relationship with adrenal androgens and metabolic parameters.

METHODS: In a prospective cross-sectional study of children with AAE and healthy controls, adrenal and metabolic parameters were characterized and salivary microbiome was profiled using V3-V4 16S rDNA gene amplicon sequencing.

RESULTS: There was increased α-diversity in AAE (5 M, 15 F) compared to controls (3 M, 8 F), with positive correlation of 11OHA4, 11KA4, testosterone, androstenedione, DHEA, and DHEAS. Subanalyses showed increased α-diversity in both overweight/obese AAE and normal weight AAE compared to normal weight controls. Genus Peptostreptococcus, Veillonella, and Streptococcus salivarius were increased in normal weight AAE. Genus Prevotella, Abiotrophia, and Neisseria were increased in overweight/obese AAE.

CONCLUSION: These pilot data demonstrate differences in salivary microbiome profiles of children with and without AAE. Further studies are needed to assess the causal relationships between adrenal androgens, metabolic dysfunction, and salivary microbiome composition.

IMPACT: This study is the first to report the salivary microbiome of prepubertal children with adrenal androgen excess (AAE). α-Diversity is increased in the salivary microbiome of children with AAE independent of weight status, and in this study cohort several serum androgens are positively associated with α-diversity. Several taxa that have been associated with periodontal disease and inflammation are found to be significantly increased in AAE.

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