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Title: Metabolic alterations in children with environmental enteric dysfunction

item SEMBA, RICHARD - Johns Hopkins University School Of Medicine
item SHARDELL, MICHELLE - National Institute On Aging (NIA, NIH)
item TREHAN, INDI - Washington University
item MOADDEL, RUIN - National Institute On Aging (NIA, NIH)
item MALETA, KENNETH - University Of Malawi
item ORDIZ, M - Washington University
item KRAEMER, KLAUS - Sight & Life
item KHADEER, MOHAMMED - National Institute On Aging (NIA, NIH)
item FERRUCCI, LUIGI - National Institute On Aging (NIA, NIH)
item MANARY, MARK - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)

Submitted to: Scientific Reports
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/27/2016
Publication Date: 6/13/2016
Citation: Semba, R.D., Shardell, M., Trehan, I., Moaddel, R., Maleta, K.M., Ordiz, M.I., Kraemer, K., Khadeer, M., Ferrucci, L., Manary, M.J. 2016. Metabolic alterations in children with environmental enteric dysfunction. Scientific Reports. 6:28009.

Interpretive Summary: Gut health of children from the developing world is poor, which contributes to their stunting and ill health. Poor gut health was found in this study to occur with changes in the building blocks used to create proteins, called amino acids. This study suggests a relationship between the gut surface and protein metabolism.

Technical Abstract: Environmental enteric dysfunction, an asymptomatic condition characterized by inflammation of the small bowel mucosa, villous atrophy, malabsorption, and increased intestinal permeability, is a major contributor to childhood stunting in low-income countries. Here we report the relationship of increased intestinal permeability with serum metabolites in 315 children without acute malnutrition, aged 12-59 months, in rural Malawi. Increased gut permeability was associated with significant differences in circulating metabolites that included lower serum phosphatidylcholines, sphingomyelins, tryptophan, ornithine, and citrulline, and elevated serum glutamate, taurine, and serotonin. Our findings suggest that environmental enteric dysfunction is characterized by alterations in important metabolites involved in growth and differentiation and gut function and integrity.