Sci Rep. 2023 Jan 5;13(1):203. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-26816-5.
Crohn’s disease (CD) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. A clear gap in our existing CD diagnostics and current disease management approaches is the lack of highly specific biomarkers that can be used to streamline or personalize disease management. Comprehensive profiling of metabolites holds promise; however, these high-dimensional profiles need to be reduced to have relevance in the context of CD. Machine learning approaches are optimally suited to bridge this gap in knowledge by contextualizing the metabolic alterations in CD using genome-scale metabolic network reconstructions. Our work presents a framework for studying altered metabolic reactions between patients with CD and controls using publicly available transcriptomic data and existing gene-driven metabolic network reconstructions. Additionally, we apply the same methods to patient-derived ileal enteroids to explore the utility of using this experimental in vitro platform for studying CD. Furthermore, we have piloted an untargeted metabolomics approach as a proof-of-concept validation strategy in human ileal mucosal tissue. These findings suggest that in silico metabolic modeling can potentially identify pathways of clinical relevance in CD, paving the way for the future discovery of novel diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets.