Introduction: Bile acids (BAs) are the end products of cholesterol metabolism produced by human and gut microbiome co-metabolism. Recent evidence suggests gut microbiota influence pathological features of Alzheimer's disease (AD) including neuroinflammation and amyloid-β deposition.
Method: Serum levels of 20 primary and secondary BA metabolites from the AD Neuroimaging Initiative (n = 1562) were measured using targeted metabolomic profiling. We assessed the association of BAs with the "A/T/N" (amyloid, tau, and neurodegeneration) biomarkers for AD: cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, atrophy (magnetic resonance imaging), and brain glucose metabolism ([18F]FDG PET).
Results: Of 23 BAs and relevant calculated ratios after quality control procedures, three BA signatures were associated with CSF Aβ1-42 ("A") and three with CSF p-tau181 ("T") (corrected P < .05). Furthermore, three, twelve, and fourteen BA signatures were associated with CSF t-tau, glucose metabolism, and atrophy ("N"), respectively (corrected P < .05).
Discussion: This is the first study to show serum-based BA metabolites are associated with "A/T/N" AD biomarkers, providing further support for a role of BA pathways in AD pathophysiology. Prospective clinical observations and validation in model systems are needed to assess causality and specific mechanisms underlying this association.
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Amyloid-β; Bile acid; Brain glucose metabolism; CSF biomarkers; Gut-liver-brain axis; MRI; Metabolomics; PET.
Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.