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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.01216

Fecal short chain fatty acids levels were not associated with autism spectrum disorders in Chinese children: a case control study

 Jue Wang1,  Jialiang Pan1, Hengying Chen1,  Yan Li1, Amakye W. Kwame1,  Jingjing Liang2, Bingjie Ma2, Xinwei Chu1*, Limei Mao1* and  Zheqing Zhang1*
  • 1Southern Medical University, China
  • 2Guangzhou Women and Children's Medical Center, China

Evidence in animal models support that short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), a subset of key gut microbial metabolites, are linked to autism spectrum disorders (ASD), however findings from human studies on this topic are unclear. We aimed to investigate whether fecal SCFAs are associated with ASD in Chinese children aged 6-9 years old. A total of 45 ASD children aged 6-9 years and 90 sex- and age-matched neurotypical controls were enrolled. High-performance liquid chromatography was applied to quantify 10 SCFA subtypes in feces. Dietary and other socio-demographic information were obtained via face-to-face interview using questionnaires. After adjustment for multiple comparisons, paired t test analysis indicated that the fecal total and subtypes of SCFAs concentrations were comparable in autistic children and the controls. Conditional logistic regression analysis showed that there was no significant relationship between the fecal concentration of SCFAs and the risk of ASD after adjustment for age, sex, BMI, breastfeeding, mode of delivery, parental education level, and daily energy, protein, fat and fiber intake. In conclusion, our results did not support the hypothesis that fecal SCFAs levels might be associated with the presence of ASD. However, SCFA measurement was based on a single test of stool sample, therefore this conclusion should be treated with caution. Further studies with measurement of long-term bodily SCFAs concentrations are needed to examine this relationship.

Keywords: Short Chain Fatty Acids, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Case control study, Children, Chinese

Received: 11 May 2019; Accepted: 28 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Wang, Pan, Chen, Li, Kwame, Liang, Ma, Chu, Mao and Zhang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Xinwei Chu, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, 510515, Guangdong, China, chuxw@smu.edu.cn
Prof. Limei Mao, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, 510515, Guangdong, China, mlm912@163.com
Mx. Zheqing Zhang, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, 510515, Guangdong, China, zzqaa501@smu.edu.cn