OPEN Research Support

René Klinkby Støving
Department of Endocrinology, Odense University Hospital

Projekt styring
Projekt status    Sampling finished
Data indsamlingsdatoer
Start 01.08.2014  
Slut 31.08.2016  

Whole gut microbiome sequencing in patients with anorexia nervosa

Short summary

The aim of the study is to investigate whether gut microbiota is altered in patients with anorexia nervosa. Hypothetical, gut microbiota may produce compounds, which can be identified and characterized by analysis of biosynthetic gene clusters and by screening of host-microbial co-metabolomes for pharmacological targets and biological activity. Potentially, this may lead to new therapeutic approaches of anorexia nervosa as well as obesity.


Anorexia nervosa (AN) still carries the highest fatality rate of any psychiatric disease and less than half of the patients recover refractory to any treatment. The etiology remains unknown and evidence for treatment is lacking. The intestinal microbiota and its microbiome provide humans with additional gene products, which may be regarded as an organ, which contributes to multiple host metabolic pathways. Recent advances in microbial DNA sequencing technologies have resulted in metagenomic DNA analysis of whole ecosystems such as the human gut.  Altered intestinal microbiota has been related to obesity and insulin resistance. Hypothetically, the intestinal microbiota could play a role in the generation and/or maintenance of the emaciation in AN.

Description of the cohort

The gut microbiome profiles are investigated in treatment seeking, well characterized women with anorexia nervosa and in age matched healthy, normal weight women. Exclusion criteria are age under 15 years, abuse of laxatives, antibiotic treatment within the last three months or any known chronic bowel disease.

Data and biological material

Fecal samples, morning fasting urine, fasting serum and plasma. Clinical data extracted from questionnaires and from medical records.

Collaborating researchers and departments

Center for Basic Metabolic Research (CBMR), Section of Metabolic Genetics, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

  • Professor and Director Oluf Borbye Pedersen, MD, DMSc

Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), USA

  • Assistant Professor Michael Andrew Fischbach, PhD

Translational Systems Medicine at the Division of Computational and Systems Medicine, Imperial College London (ICL), UK

  • Marc-Emmanuel Dumas, PhD

Unit for Psychiatric Research, Aaborg University Hospital

  • Psychologist Gry Kjærsdam Telléus, PhD

Child and adolescent psychiatric unit, Risskov, Aarhus University Hospital

  • Psychologist Loa Clausen, PhD