Dataset of the Week — MTBLS726

Malavika Srikanth
March 2, 2021

Our ‘Dataset of the Week’ series features publicly available omics datasets of scientific value, intending to promote data sharing and reuse.

This week’s dataset includes metabolomics data from the publication titled 'Human Gut Microbiota from Autism Spectrum Disorder Promote Behavioral Symptoms in Mice', published in Cell (May 2019).

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects approximately 1 in 54 individuals in the USA. Clinical symptoms of ASD cover a wide range of behavioral, learning, and locomotory impairments. Preliminary lines of evidence have indicated differences in the distribution of gut flora between typically developing (TD) and ASD-affected individuals. This publication used fecal transplants from ASD patients to determine how the gut microbiome and metabolic profile contribute to symptom development in mice.

Key Findings of the Publication

  • ‘Humanized microbiota’ mice that received fecal transplants from ASD-affected humans displayed impaired social interaction and other behavioral deficits typical of ASD.
  • RNA sequencing analysis of brain tissue from the prefrontal cortex and striatum of these mice indicated minor differences in gene expression profiles when compared to the TD cohort. Further analysis, however, revealed significant alterations in splicing in genes that have been linked to ASD symptom development.
  • Metabolomics analysis using LC-MS and NMR showed that mice with the ASD microbiome metabolized some amino acids in a differential manner, compared to the TD microbiome. Alterations in amino acid metabolism caused by the gut microbiome led to changes in the metabolic profile of ASD mice.
  • Differences in the levels of circulating metabolites such as taurine and 5AV were observed. These are GABA receptor agonists, and a decrease in their levels in ASD microbiome mice correlated with behavioral deficits, mainly social impairment characteristic of autism.

Significance of the Dataset

This dataset contains metabolomics data from the blood plasma and colon contents of TD and ASD humanized mice. Researchers studying the role of the gut-brain axis in the context of autism spectrum disorders and behavioral deficits will potentially benefit from this resource.

Experimental Design

Human fecal samples from TD or ASD affected individuals and were transplanted into C57BL6 mice (n=15 TD, n= 20 ASD). Colon contents and blood plasma from both groups of mice were extracted and metabolomics analysis was carried out by LCMS and NMR.

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