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Assessing the Relationship Between Gut Microbiota and Bone Mineral Density

Cheng S1, Qi X1, Ma M1, Zhang L1, Cheng B1, Liang C1, Liu L1, Li P1, Kafle OP1, Wen Y1, Zhang F1.

Front Genet. 2020 Jan 31;11:6. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2020.00006. eCollection 2020.

Background: Recent study demonstrates the comprehensive effects of gut microbiota on complex diseases or traits. However, limited effort has been conducted to explore the potential relationships between gut microbiota and BMD.

Methods: We performed a polygenetic risk scoring (PRS) analysis to systematically explore the relationships between gut microbiota and body BMD. Significant SNP sets associated with gut microbiota were derived from previous genome-wide association study (GWAS). In total, 2,294 to 5,065 individuals with BMD values of different sites and their genotype data were obtained from UK Biobank cohort. The gut microbiota PRS of each individual was computed from the SNP genotype data for each study subject of UK Biobank by PLINK software. Using computed PRS as the instrumental variables of gut microbiota, Pearson correlation analysis of individual PRS values and BMD values was finally conducted to test the potential association between gut microbiota and target trait. Results: In total, 31 BMD traits were selected as outcome to assess their relationships with gut microbiota. After adjusted for age, sex, body mass index, and the first 5 principal components (PCs) as the covariates using linear regression model, pelvis BMD (P = 0.0437) showed suggestive association signal with gut microbiota after multiple testing correction. Conclusion: Our study findings support the weak relevance of gut microbiota with the development of BMD.