Neuroactive metabolites and bile acids are altered in extremely premature infants with brain injury

Manuel Pristner, Daniel Wasinger, David Seki, Katrin Klebermaß-Schrehof, Angelika Berger, David Berry, Lukas Wisgrill, Benedikt Warth

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


The gut microbiome is associated with pathological neurophysiological evolvement in extremely premature infants suffering from brain injury. The exact underlying mechanism and its associated metabolic signatures in infants are not fully understood. To decipher metabolite profiles linked to neonatal brain injury, we investigate the fecal and plasma metabolome of samples obtained from a cohort of 51 extremely premature infants at several time points, using liquid chromatography (LC)-high-resolution mass spectrometry (MS)-based untargeted metabolomics and LC-MS/MS-based targeted analysis for investigating bile acids and amidated bile acid conjugates. The data are integrated with 16S rRNA gene amplicon gut microbiome profiles as well as patient cytokine, growth factor, and T cell profiles. We find an early onset of differentiation in neuroactive metabolites between infants with and without brain injury. We detect several bacterially derived bile acid amino acid conjugates in plasma and feces. These results provide insights into the early-life metabolome of extremely premature infants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101480
Number of pages24
JournalCell Reports Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2024

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 106026 Ecosystem research
  • 106022 Microbiology
  • 106059 Microbiome research


  • bile acid amino acid conjugates
  • extremely premature infant
  • gut-immune-brain axis
  • neonatal brain injury
  • untargeted metabolomics

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