Mucosal microbiota and gene expression are associated with long-term remission after discontinuation of adalimumab in ulcerative colitis

Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 5;10(1):19186. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-76175-2.


Given that sustained remission is the ultimate treatment goal in the management of patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), the decision to stop anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) treatment in UC patients is difficult. The aim of this study was to evaluate mucosal microbiota and gene expression profiles associated with long-term remission after discontinuation of anti-TNF therapy. In nine UC patients who received anti-TNF therapy for 6 months, microbiota isolated from uninflamed mucosae and gene expression in inflamed and uninflamed mucosae were investigated at week 0 and at week 24. At treatment initiation, Fusobacterium sp. and Veillonella dispar were over-represented in the relapse group compared with the non-relapse group. After treatment, Dorea sp. and Lachnospira sp. were over-represented in the non-relapse group. In the relapse group only, a significant shift in gut bacterial community composition was found between week 0 and week 24. Gene expression of ALIX (PDCD6IP) and SLC9A3 was significantly higher in the non-relapse group than in the relapse group. Lastly, we used machine learning methods to identify relevant gene signatures associated with sustained remission. Statistical analyses of microbiota and expression profiles revealed differences between UC patients who did or did not keep remission after the discontinuation of TNF inhibitors.Trial registration: UMIN000020785: Evaluation of adalimumab therapy in mesalazine-resistant or -intolerant ulcerative colitis; an observational study (EARLY study).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adalimumab / therapeutic use*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / drug therapy*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / microbiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / genetics*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Remission Induction
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Adalimumab

Associated data

  • UMIN-CTR/UMIN000020785