Pronounced gut microbiota signatures in patients with JAK2V617F-positive essential thrombocythemia

Christina Schjellerup Eickhardt-Dalbøge*, Anna Cäcilia Ingham, Henrik V Nielsen, Kurt Fuursted, Christen Rune Stensvold, Lee O'Brien Andersen, Morten Kranker Larsen, Lasse Kjær, Sarah Friis Christensen, Trine Alma Knudsen, Vibe Skov, Christina Ellervik, Lars Rønn Olsen, Hans Carl Hasselbalch, Jens Jørgen Elmer Christensen, Xiaohui Chen Nielsen

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review


Essential thrombocythemia (ET) is part of the Philadelphia chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms. It is characterized by an increased risk of thromboembolic events and also to a certain degree hypermetabolic symptoms. The gut microbiota is an important initiator of hematopoiesis and regulation of the immune system, but in patients with ET, where inflammation is a hallmark of the disease, it is vastly unexplored. In this study, we compared the gut microbiota via amplicon-based 16S rRNA gene sequencing of the V3-V4 region in 54 patients with ET according to mutation status Janus-kinase 2 (JAK2V617F)-positive vs JAK2V617F-negative patients with ET, and in 42 healthy controls (HCs). Gut microbiota richness was higher in patients with ET (median-observed richness, 283.5; range, 75-535) compared with HCs (median-observed richness, 191.5; range, 111-300; P < 0.001). Patients with ET had a different overall bacterial composition (beta diversity) than HCs (analysis of similarities [ANOSIM]; R = 0.063, P = 0.004). Patients with ET had a significantly lower relative abundance of taxa within the Firmicutes phylum compared with HCs (51% vs 59%, P = 0.03), and within that phylum, patients with ET also had a lower relative abundance of the genus Faecalibacterium (8% vs 15%, P < 0.001), an important immunoregulative bacterium. The microbiota signatures were more pronounced in patients harboring the JAK2V617F mutation, and highly similar to patients with polycythemia vera as previously described. These findings suggest that patients with ET may have an altered immune regulation; however, whether this dysregulation is induced in part by, or is itself inducing, an altered gut microbiota remains to be investigated. IMPORTANCE Essential thrombocythemia (ET) is a cancer characterized by thrombocyte overproduction. Inflammation has been shown to be vital in both the initiation and progression of other myeloproliferative neoplasms, and it is well known that the gut microbiota is important in the regulation of our immune system. However, the gut microbiota of patients with ET remains uninvestigated. In this study, we characterized the gut microbiota of patients with ET compared with healthy controls and thereby provide new insights into the field. We show that the gut microbiota of patients with ET differs significantly from that of healthy controls and the patients with ET have a lower relative abundance of important immunoregulative bacteria. Furthermore, we demonstrate that patients with JAK2V617F-positive ET have pronounced gut microbiota signatures compared with JAK2V617F-negative patients. Thereby confirming the importance of the underlying mutation, the immune response as well as the composition of the microbiota.

TidsskriftMicrobiology spectrum
Udgave nummer5
StatusUdgivet, E-publikation før trykning - 11 sep. 2023


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