A previous study indicated that gut microbiota changed notably in Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) patients as compared to controls. However, the characteristics of intestinal bacteria in Graves’ disease (GD) and GO are unclear.
The present study aimed to identify specific intestinal bacteria of GD and GO, respectively.
The gut microbial communities of the fecal samples of 30 GD patients without GO, 33 GO subjects, and 32 healthy subjects were analyzed and compared by 16S rRNA gene sequencing.
At the phylum level, the proportion of Deinococcus-Thermus and Chloroflexi was decreased significantly in GO patients as compared to GD. At the genus level, the proportion of Subdoligranulum and Bilophila was increased while that of Blautia, Anaerostipes, Dorea, Butyricicoccus, Romboutsia, Fusicatenibacter, unidentified_ Lachnospiraceae, unidentified_Clostridiales, Collineslla, Intestinibacter, and Phascolarctobacterium was decreased in the GO group as compared to the GD group. Random forest analysis was used for the identification of specific intestinal microbiota, and Deinococcus-Thermus, Cyanobacteria and Chloroflexi were ranked in the top ten according to their contributions to sample classification. Moreover, compared to the control, there were multiple gut bacterial enrichment metabolic pathways in GO and GD patients, including nucleotide metabolism, enzyme family, and energy metabolism. Compared to GO, the only enrichment metabolic pathway found in GD was the viral protein family.
This study highlighted the significant differences in the intestinal microbiota and predictive functions of GD with GO, thereby providing new insights into the role of the gut bacteria that might contribute to the development of GO in GD patients.
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Thyrotropin receptor antibody
Inflammatory bowel disease
Systemic lupus erythematosus
Autoimmune thyroid diseases
Operational taxonomy units
Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes
Principal coordinate analysis
Linear discriminant analysis
LDA effect size
Mean Decrease Gini
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The authors thank all the participants and staff involved in the study.
This work was supported by the Beijing Municipal Hospital Research and Development Program (PX2016063), the Expert Promotion Program of Beijing Health Systems (2015-3-017) to Zhong Xin, and the Foundation of Beijing Tongren Hospital (2015-YJJ-ZZL-006) to Ting-Ting Shi.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interests.
The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University. All procedures were performed in the study in accordance with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.
Informed written consents were obtained from all participants included in this study.
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Shi, TT., Xin, Z., Hua, L. et al. Comparative assessment of gut microbial composition and function in patients with Graves’ disease and Graves’ orbitopathy. J Endocrinol Invest 44, 297–310 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40618-020-01298-2
- Graves’ disease
- Graves’ orbitopathy
- Gut microbiota
- 16S rRNA gene
- Metabolic functions