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Pubmed-Genetic associations and potential mediators between psychiatric disorders and irritable bowel syndrome: a Mendelian randomization study with mediation analysis

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Front Psychiatry. 2024 Jan 30;15:1279266. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2024.1279266. eCollection 2024.


OBJECTIVE: Potential causal associations between psychiatric disorders and irritable bowel syndrome have been demonstrated in observational studies; however, these studies are susceptible to underlying confounding and reverse causation biases. We aimed to assess the causal effects of psychiatric disorders on irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the potential mediators from a genetic perspective by conducting a Mendelian randomization (MR) study with mediation analysis.

METHOD: Genetic instruments associated with psychiatric disorders, potential mediators, and IBS were obtained from large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Three MR methods - the inverse-variance weighted (IVW) method, MR-Egger method, and weighted median method, were used to investigate causal association estimates. Heterogeneity among different genetic instrumental variables (IVs) was assessed using Q tests. Additionally, the MR-PRESSO and MR-Pleiotropy methods were used to verify horizontal pleiotropy and detect outliers that might bias the results, which were removed from further analysis. Consequently, we used MR mediation analysis to investigate potential mediators in the causal associations between psychiatric disorders and IBS.

RESULTS: MR provided evidence of the causal effects of genetically predicted broad depression, major depressive disorder (MDD), anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and schizophrenia on IBS. The results of MR mediation analysis demonstrated that the reduction in acetate levels mediated 12.6% of the effects of broad depression on IBS; insomnia mediated 16.00%, 16.20%, and 27.14% of the effects of broad depression, MDD, and PTSD on IBS, respectively; and the increase in blood β-hydroxybutyrate levels mediated 50.76% of the effects of schizophrenia on IBS.

CONCLUSION: Our study confirmed the brain-gut axis involvement and potential modulators in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorder-induced IBS from a genetic perspective, and suggests potential therapeutic targets for the disrupted brain-gut axis.

PMID:38352653 | PMC:PMC10861787 | DOI:10.3389/fpsyt.2024.1279266

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