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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Abnormal colonic microbial function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

The aim of this study was to examine the microflora-associated characteristics (MACs) of faecal samples of patients with rheumatoid arthritis ( RA) and to evaluate the actions of sulphasalazine (SASP) on these MACs. The conversion of cholesterol to coprostanol, the production of urobilinogen, the degradation of faecal tryptic activity (FTA) and of beta-aspartylglycine were measured in faecal samples from 19 patients treated with SASP and 21 patients not treated with this medication. A control group of 21 healthy subjects was sex- and age-matched with the untreated patients. The conversion of cholesterol to coprostanol showed a bimodal distribution. The frequency of high converters in patients without SASP treatment was higher than in healthy subjects (p < 0.05). Treatment with SASP markedly increased the FTA and reduced the urobilinogen values, as compared to the untreated patients (p < 0.05). Beta-aspartylglycine was not found in any faecal samples. The results indicate that patients with RA have an abnormal formation of coprostanol, which is ascribed to alterations in the function of the Eubacteria species. In patients with RA, SASP treatment induces disturbances in the metabolism of the microflora.[1]


  1. Abnormal colonic microbial function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Benno, P., Alam, M., Henriksson, K., Norin, E., Uribe, A., Midtvedt, T. Scand. J. Rheumatol. (1994) [Pubmed]
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