Genomics-Microbiome Based Assessment of Bidirectional Causality Between Gut Microbiota and Psoriasis

Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2024 Feb 13:17:435-445. doi: 10.2147/CCID.S450227. eCollection 2024.


Background: Traditional observational studies have found a possible risk association of the gut microbiota for psoriasis. Meanwhile, psoriasis may also affect the changes in the gut microbiota. However, the available evidence does not demonstrate a reciprocal relationship between the gut microbiota and psoriasis. This limits our understanding on the role of the gut microbiota in the mechanisms of psoriasis.

Methods: To address this question we used Mendelian randomization, a novel epidemiological approach, and acquired the largest current gut microbiota GWAS data from the MiBioGen consortium as well as psoriasis GWAS data from the FinnGen consortium, and performed two-sample bidirectional MR analyses using a multiple MR analysis approach. Finally, the robustness of the results was assessed by sensitivity analysis.

Results: Our results indicate that five bacterial genera are causally related to psoriasis and psoriasis is causally related to four bacterial genera.

Conclusion: These results suggest a bidirectional causal influence of psoriasis on the gut microbiota. Our results somewhat challenge the causal inferences of previous observational studies. We found that the specific bacterial genera with a risk effect on psoriasis were different from those found to characterize psoriasis in previous observational studies, and that these psoriasis-characterizing genera were inversely associated with psoriasis.

Keywords: Mendelian randomization; bidirectional Mendelian randomization analysis; causal relationship; gut microbiota; psoriasis.

Grants and funding

This study was supported by the Sichuan Provincial Science and Technology Department Foundation (Grant No:2020YJ0436).