Lifelines DEEP

Lifelines DEEP

what is Lifelines DEEP?

The primary goal of the Lifelines DEEP project is to get insight in the relations between microbiome variation, genetic variation, metabolic and phenotype variation. LifeLines DEEP is an example of a ‘next- generation’ population cohort study—in which multiple molecular data levels are combined with observational research methods.

The study was initiated by the department of Genetics of the Universty Medical Center Groningen.

Lifelines DEEP includes an intensively examined subpopulation of the Lifelines cohort in the Netherlands. In this unique sub-cohort, we included 1539 participants aged 18 years and older. We collected additional blood (n=1387), exhaled air (n=1425) and fecal samples (n=1248), and elicited responses to gastrointestinal health questionnaires (n=1176) for analysis of the genome, epigenome, transcriptome, microbiome, metabolome and other biological levels.

In the table below you can find an overview of additional data collected in LifeLines DEEP including the number of samples, the biological sample it originates from, and the method of analysis that was used.

qPCR = quantitative polymerase chain reaction, sjTRECs = signal joint T cell receptor excision circles, HPLC = high-performance liquid chromatography, ECLIA = electro-chemiluminescence immunoassay, HBD-2 = human β defensin 2, SCFA = short chain fatty acids, ELISA = enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, RIA = radioimmunoassay, GC-(tof-)MS = gas chromatography–(time of flight-)mass spectrometry, NMR = nuclear magnetic resonance.



Lifelines DEEP has already resulted in 14 high-profile publications including several high-impact papers with wide-reaching results. In the April 2016 Science paper, for example, deep sequencing of the gut microbiome showed relationships between variations in the microbiome and 126 exogenous and intrinsic host factors.

  • Zhernakova, Alexandra, et al. "Population-based metagenomics analysis reveals markers for gut microbiome composition and diversity." Science 352.6285 (2016): 565-569.
  • Falony, Gwen, et al. "Population-level analysis of gut microbiome variation." Science 352.6285 (2016): 560-564.
  • Imhann, Floris, et al. "The influence of proton pump inhibitors and other commonly used medication on the gut microbiota." Gut microbes (2017): 1-8.
  • Imhann, Floris, et al. "Proton pump inhibitors affect the gut microbiome." Gut 65.5 (2016): 740-748.
  • Fu, Jingyaun, et al. "The gut microbiome contributes to a substantial proportion of the variation in blood lipids." Circulation research (2015): CIRCRESAHA-115.
  • Zhernakova, Daria V., et al. "Identification of context-dependent expression quantitative trait loci in whole blood." Nature Genetics (2016).
  • Bonder, Marc Jan, et al. "Disease variants alter transcription factor levels and methylation of their binding sites." Nature Genetics (2016).
  • Bonder, Marc Jan, et al. "The effect of host genetics on the gut microbiome." Nature genetics 48.11 (2016): 1407-1412.
  • Imhann, Floris, et al. "Interplay of host genetics and gut microbiota underlying the onset and clinical presentation of inflammatory bowel disease." Gut (2016): gutjnl-2016.
  • Jankipersadsing, Soesma A., et al. "A GWAS meta-analysis suggests roles for xenobiotic metabolism and ion channel activity in the biology of stool frequency." Gut (2016): gutjnl-2016.
  • Tigchelaar, E. F., et al. "Gut microbiota composition associated with stool consistency." Gut (2015): gutjnl-2015.
  • Tigchelaar, Ettje F., et al. "Cohort profile: LifeLines DEEP, a prospective, general population cohort study in the northern Netherlands: study design and baseline characteristics." BMJ open 5.8 (2015): e006772.
  • Mujagic, Zlatan, et al. "A novel biomarker panel for irritable bowel syndrome and the application in the general population." Scientific reports 6 (2016).
  • Blanchet, L., et al. "Factors that influence the volatile organic compound content in human breath." Journal of Breath Research 11.1 (2017): 016013.
  • Baranska, A., et al. "Volatile organic compounds in breath as markers for irritable bowel syndrome: a metabolomic approach." Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics 44.1 (2016): 45-56.

additional information

If you would like to know more about Lifelines DEEP in general or about the available data and samples, please contact the Lifelines Research Office:, phone: +31 50 361 58 03.