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Human fecal alpha-glucosidase activity and its relationship with gut microbiota profiles and early stages of intestinal mucosa damage.

Anaerobe 2024 April 12
OBJECTIVES: We investigated potential relationships among initial lesions of the intestinal mucosa, fecal enzymatic activities and microbiota profiles.

METHODS: Fecal samples from 54 volunteers were collected after recruitment among individuals participating in a colorectal cancer (CRC) screening program in our region (Northern Spain) or attending for consultation due to clinical symptoms; intestinal mucosa samples were resected during colonoscopy. Enzymatic activities were determined in fecal supernatants by a semi-quantitative method. The fecal microbiota composition was determined by 16S rRNA gene-based sequencing. The results were compared between samples from clinical diagnosis groups (controls and polyps), according with the type of polyp (hyperplastic polyps or conventional adenomas) and considering the grade of dysplasia for conventional adenomas (low and high grade dysplasia).

RESULTS: High levels of α-glucosidase activity were more frequent among samples from individuals diagnosed with intestinal polyps, reaching statistical significance for conventional adenomas and for low grade dysplasia adenomas when compared to controls. Regarding the microbiota profiles, higher abundance of Christensenellaceae_R-7 group and Oscillospiraceae_UCG-002 were found in fecal samples displaying low α-glucosidase activity as compared with those with higher activity as well as in controls with respect to conventional adenomas. A relationship was evidenced among intestinal mucosal lesions, gut glucosidase activities and intestinal microbiota profiles.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest a relationship among altered fecal α-glucosidase levels, the presence of intestinal mucosal lesions, which can be precursors of CRC, and shifts in defined microbial groups of the fecal microbiota.

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