Journal of the American Society of Nephrology vol:27 issue:5
There is increasing interest in the colonic microbiota as a relevant source of uremic retention solutes accumulating in CKD. Renal disease can also profoundly affect the colonic microenvironment and has been associated with a distinct colonic microbial composition. However, the influence of CKD on the colonic microbial metabolism is largely unknown. Therefore, we studied fecal metabolite profiles of hemodialysis patients and healthy controls using a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry method. We observed a clear discrimination between both groups, with 81 fecal volatile organic compounds detected at significantly different levels in hemodialysis patients and healthy controls. To further explore the differential impact of renal function loss per se versus the effect of dietary and other CKD-related factors, we also compared fecal metabolite profiles between patients on hemodialysis and household contacts on the same diet, which revealed a close resemblance. In contrast, significant differences were noted between the fecal samples of rats 6 weeks after 5/6th nephrectomy and those of sham-operated rats, still suggesting an independent influence of renal function loss. Thus, CKD associates with a distinct colonic microbial metabolism, although the effect of renal function loss per se in humans may be inferior to the effects of dietary and other CKD-related factors. The potential beneficial effect of therapeutics targeting colonic microbiota in patients with CKD remains to be examined.