The clinical spectra of irritable bowel syndrome (#IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (#IBD) intersect to form a scantily defined overlap syndrome, termed pre-IBD. We show that increased Enterobacteriaceae and reduced Clostridia abundance distinguish the fecal microbiota of pre-IBD patients from IBS patients.
A history of antibiotics in individuals consuming a high-fat diet was associated with the greatest risk for pre-IBD. Exposing mice to these risk factors resulted in conditions resembling pre-IBD and impaired mitochondrial bioenergetics in the colonic epithelium, which triggered dysbiosis. Restoring mitochondrial bioenergetics in the colonic epithelium with 5-amino salicylic acid, a PPAR-γ (peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor gamma) agonist that stimulates mitochondrial activity, ameliorated pre-IBD symptoms.
As with patients, mice with pre-IBD exhibited notable expansions of Enterobacteriaceae that exacerbated low-grade mucosal inflammation, suggesting that remediating dysbiosis can alleviate inflammation. Thus, environmental risk factors cooperate to impair epithelial mitochondrial bioenergetics, thereby triggering microbiota disruptions that exacerbate inflammation and distinguish pre-IBD from IBS.