Similarly in depression, nuances of gut microbiota: Evidences from a shotgun metagenomics sequencing study on major depressive disorder versus bipolar disorder with current major depressive episode patients

J Psychiatr Res. 2019 Jun;113:90-99. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2019.03.017. Epub 2019 Mar 21.


Background: To probe the differences of gut microbiota among major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder with current major depressive episode (BPD) and health participants.

Methods: Thirty one MDD patients, thirty BPD patients, and thirty healthy controls (HCs) were recruited. All the faecal samples were analyzed by shotgun metagenomics sequencing. Except for routine analyses of alpha diversity, we specially designed a new indicator, the Gm coefficient, to evaluate the inequality of relative abundances of microbiota for each participant.

Results: The Gm coefficients are significant decreased in both MDD and BPD groups. The relative abundances of increased phyla Firmicutes and Actinobacteria and decreased Bacteroidetes were significantly in the MDD and BPD groups. At genus level, four of top five enriched genera (Bacteroides, Clostridium, Bifidobacterium, Oscillibacter and Streptococcus) were found increased significantly in the MDD and BPD groups compared with HCs. The genera Escherichia and Klebsiella showed significant changes in abundances only between the BPD and HC groups. At the species level, compared with BPD patients, MDD patients had a higher abundance of Prevotellaceae including Prevotella denticola F0289, Prevotella intermedia 17, Prevotella ruminicola, and Prevotella intermedia. Furthermore, the abundance of Fusobacteriaceae, Escherichia blattae DSM 4481 and Klebsiella oxytoca were significantly increased, whereas the Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis ATCC 15697 = JCM 1222 was significantly reduced in BPD group compared with MDD group.

Conclusions: Our study suggested that gut microbiota may be involved in the pathogenesis of both MDD and BPD patients, and the nuances of bacteria may have the potentiality of being the biomarkers of MDD and BPD.

Keywords: Bipolar disorder; Diversity; G(m) coefficient; Gut microbiota; Major depressive disorder; Shotgun metagenomics sequencing.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bipolar Disorder / microbiology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / microbiology*
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Metagenomics / methods*
  • Metagenomics / statistics & numerical data