Gut microbiome alterations at acute myeloid leukemia diagnosis are associated with muscle weakness and anorexia

The gut microbiota makes critical contributions to host homeostasis, and its role in the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) has attracted attention. We investigated whether the gut microbiome is affected by AML, and whether such changes are associated with cachectic hallmarks. Biological samples and clinical data were collected from 30 antibiotic-free AML patients at diagnosis and matched volunteers (1:1) in a multicenter cross-sectional prospective study. The composition and functional potential of the faecal microbiota were analyzed using shotgun metagenomics. Faecal, blood, and urine metabolomics analyses were performed.

AML patients displayed muscle weakness, anorexia, signs of altered gut function, and glycaemic disorders. The composition of the faecal microbiota differed between patients with AML and control subjects, with an increase in oral bacteria. Alterations in bacterial functions and faecal metabolome support an altered redox status in the gut microbiota, which may contribute to the altered redox status observed in patients with AML. Eubacterium eligens, reduced 3-fold in AML patients, was strongly correlated with muscle strength and citrulline, a marker of enterocyte mass and function.

Blautia and Parabacteroides, increased in patients with AML, were correlated with anorexia. Several bacterial taxa and metabolites (e.g. Blautia, Prevotella, phenylacetate, and hippurate) previously associated with glycaemic disorders were altered. Our work revealed important perturbations in the gut microbiome of AML patients at diagnosis, which are associated with muscle strength, altered redox status, and anorexia. These findings pave the way for future mechanistic work to explore the function and therapeutic potential of the bacteria identified in this study.

Published: 28 Mar 2024
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Haematologica; DOI: