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Does seasonality of the microbiota contribute to the seasonality of acute gout flare?

1, 2, 3


  1. Gout Center and Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.
  2. Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, Piscataway, NJ, USA.
  3. Biomedical Engineering Department, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA.

2022 Vol.40, N°9
PI 1793, PF 1800

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PMID: 35383564 [PubMed]

Received: 20/09/2021
Accepted : 09/02/2022
In Press: 30/03/2022
Published: 20/09/2022


Gout, the most common inflammatory arthritis worldwide, is an auto-inflammatory metabolic disease that leads to monosodium urate crystal deposition. Hyperuricaemia is a significant risk factor for the development of gout; however, hyperuricaemia alone is not sufficient to induce gout. Gout flares have circadian rhythms. Gout flares vary during the day and have strong seasonality, with flares being more common in the spring. The reasons for the predominance of flares in the spring are unclear since serum urate (SU) levels show seasonal variation; however, SU levels are highest in the summer. Immune function varies significantly throughout the year, with enhanced immune responses increasing during the winter. In addition, chronic disruption of circadian rhythms is associated with metabolic syndrome and diseases driven by metabolism. The most telling example relates to Xanthine oxidase (XOD/XDH). The analysis of XOD/XDH established its circadian regulation and demonstrated that inhibition of the activity of XOD is characterised by distinct, crossregulating diurnal/seasonal patterns of activity. The gastrointestinal microbiota of gout patients is highly distinct from healthy individuals. In a small series of gout patients, Bacteroides caccae and Bacteroides xylanisolvens were found to be enriched. Bacteroidales levels were highest during the spring and summer, and loading values were highest in the spring. Our review discusses gout’s circadian rhythm and seasonality, possible influences of the microbiome on gout due to our new knowledge that Bacteroidales levels were highest during spring when gout is most common, and potential opportunities for treatment based on our current understanding of this interaction.


Rheumatology Article