Urinary Metabolic Phenotyping Reveals Differences in the Metabolic Status of Healthy and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Children in Relation to Growth and Disease Activity

Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Aug 11;17(8):1310. doi: 10.3390/ijms17081310.


Background: Growth failure and delayed puberty are well known features of children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), in addition to the chronic course of the disease. Urinary metabonomics was applied in order to better understand metabolic changes between healthy and IBD children.

Methods: 21 Pediatric patients with IBD (mean age 14.8 years, 8 males) were enrolled from the Pediatric Gastroenterology Outpatient Clinic over two years. Clinical and biological data were collected at baseline, 6, and 12 months. 27 healthy children (mean age 12.9 years, 16 males) were assessed at baseline. Urine samples were collected at each visit and subjected to ¹H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

Results: Using ¹H NMR metabonomics, we determined that urine metabolic profiles of IBD children differ significantly from healthy controls. Metabolic differences include central energy metabolism, amino acid, and gut microbial metabolic pathways. The analysis described that combined urinary urea and phenylacetylglutamine-two readouts of nitrogen metabolism-may be relevant to monitor metabolic status in the course of disease.

Conclusion: Non-invasive sampling of urine followed by metabonomic profiling can elucidate and monitor the metabolic status of children in relation to disease status. Further developments of omic-approaches in pediatric research might deliver novel nutritional and metabolic hypotheses.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; growth; inflammatory bowel disease; metabolism; pediatric; phenotype; ulcerative colitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / metabolism
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / urine
  • Crohn Disease / metabolism
  • Crohn Disease / urine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / metabolism*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / urine*
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Metabolomics