In a study published in PLOS ONE, researchers evaluated metabolic characteristics in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC). In their analysis, they determined that inflammation state was the primary contributor to metabolic variations, not diagnosis.

The study included colon tissue samples from 19 patients with UC and 14 controls. Based on metabolomic analyses, the researchers noted that several metabolites were differentially regulated in inflamed or uninflamed tissue samples.

Notably, inflamed tissues had downregulated levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and upregulated levels of nicotinamide (NAM) and adenosine diphosphate ribose. Additionally, the NAD+/NAM ratio was reduced in inflamed samples, and the researchers reported that it was an effective stratification criterion for inflammation in patients with UC.

The investigators also found that mitochondria structure was impacted, as colonocytes from patients with UC had decreased mitochondrial number and density. Overall, the evidence supported a link between mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, and NAD+ metabolism in UC, the authors concluded.

Reference: Kang YH, Tucker SA, Quevedo SF, Inal A, Korzenik JR, Haigis MC. Metabolic analyses reveal dysregulated NAD+ metabolism and altered mitochondrial state in ulcerative colitis. PLoS One. 2022. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0273080