Whole-body metabolic modelling reveals microbiome and genomic interactions on reduced urine formate levels in Alzheimer's disease

Sci Rep. 2024 Mar 13;14(1):6095. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-55960-3.


In this study, we aimed to understand the potential role of the gut microbiome in the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We took a multi-faceted approach to investigate this relationship. Urine metabolomics were examined in individuals with AD and controls, revealing decreased formate and fumarate concentrations in AD. Additionally, we utilised whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data obtained from a separate group of individuals with AD and controls. This information allowed us to create and investigate host-microbiome personalised whole-body metabolic models. Notably, AD individuals displayed diminished formate microbial secretion in these models. Additionally, we identified specific reactions responsible for the production of formate in the host, and interestingly, these reactions were linked to genes that have correlations with AD. This study suggests formate as a possible early AD marker and highlights genetic and microbiome contributions to its production. The reduced formate secretion and its genetic associations point to a complex connection between gut microbiota and AD. This holistic understanding might pave the way for novel diagnostic and therapeutic avenues in AD management.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Co-metabolism; Constraint-based modelling; Formate; Host-microbiome; Metabolic modelling; Metabolomics; Microbiome; Pathways.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / genetics
  • Alzheimer Disease* / metabolism
  • Formates
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome* / genetics
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Microbiota* / genetics


  • Formates