Chronic opioid use modulates human enteric microbiota and intestinal barrier integrity

Published: 6 April 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/ch6rndwt5h.1
Angelica Cruz


Over the past three decades the United States has experienced a devastating opioid epidemic. One of the many debilitating side effects of chronic opioid use is opioid-induced bowel dysfunction. We investigated the impact of methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) on the gut microbiome, the gut bacterial metabolite profile, and intestinal barrier integrity. An imbalance in key bacterial communities required for production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), mucus degradation, and maintenance of barrier integrity was identified. Consistent with dysbiosis, levels of fecal SCFAs were reduced in MMT. We demonstrated that metabolites synthesized by Akkermansia muciniphila modulate intestinal barrier integrity in vitro by strengthening the pore pathway and regulating tight junction protein expression. This study provides essential information about the therapeutic potential of A. muciniphila and warrants development of new clinical strategies that aim to normalize the gut microbiome in individuals affected by chronic opioid use.


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These are Fastq files from 16S V3-V4 region sequencing using Illumina MiSeq. Samples pertain to non-opioid users and methadone treated participants. Please see manuscript for downstream analysis information. PMC8317955


Case Western Reserve University


Opioid, Gut Microbiome, Methadone Treatment