Nickel exposure induces gut microbiome disorder and serum uric acid elevation


Serum uric acid elevation has been found in long-term nickel (Ni) exposure occupational workers, but the mechanism is unclear. In this study, the relationship between Ni exposure and uric acid elevation was explored in a cohort of 109 participants composed of a Ni-exposed workers group and a control group. The results showed that Ni concentration (5.70 ± 3.21 μg/L) and uric acid level (355.95 ± 67.87 μmol/L) in the serum were increased in the exposure group with a significant positive correlation (r = 0.413, p < 0.0001). The composition of gut microbiota and metabolome revealed that the abundance of uric acid-lowering bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, Lachnospiraceae_Unclassfied and Blautia were reduced while pathogenic bacteria including Parabacteriadies and Escherichia-Shigella were enriched in Ni group, accompanied by impaired intestinal degradation of purines and upregulated biosynthesis of primary bile acids. Consistent with human results, the mice experiments showed that Ni treatment significantly promotes uric acid elevation and systemic inflammation. Lactobacillus and Blautia in gut microbiota were reduced and inflammation-related taxa Alistipes and Mycoplasma were enriched in the Ni treatment. In addition, LC-MS/MS metabolomic analysis indicated that purine nucleosides were accumulated in mice feces, which increased purine absorption and uric acid elevation in the serum. In summary, this study provides evidence that UA elevation was correlated with heavy metals exposure and highlighted the role of gut microbiota in intestinal purine catabolism and in the pathogenesis of heavy metal-induced hyperuricemia.

Authors: Jinfeng Yang, Pengya Feng, Zhenmin Ling, Aman Khan, Xing Wang, Yanli Chen, Gohar Ali, Yitian Fang, El-Sayed Salama, Ximei Wang, Pu Liu, Xiangkai Li
; Full Source: Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) 2023 Mar 2;324:121349. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2023.121349.