Metabolomic insights into the intricate gut microbial-host interaction in the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes

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© 2015 Palau-Rodriguez, Tulipani, Queipo-Ortuño, Urpi-Sarda, Tinahones and Andres-Lacueva. Gut microbiota has recently been proposed as a crucial environmental factor in the development of metabolic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, mainly due to its contribution in the modulation of several processes including host energy metabolism, gut epithelial permeability, gut peptide hormone secretion, and host inflammatory state. Since the symbiotic interaction between the gut microbiota and the host is essentially reflected in specific metabolic signatures, much expectation is placed on the application of metabolomic approaches to unveil the key mechanisms linking the gut microbiota composition and activity with disease development. The present review aims to summarize the gut microbial-host co-metabolites identified so far by targeted and untargeted metabolomic studies in humans, in association with impaired glucose homeostasis and/or obesity. An alteration of the co-metabolism of bile acids, branched fatty acids, choline, vitamins (i.e., niacin), purines, and phenolic compounds has been associated so far with the obese or diabese phenotype, in respect to healthy controls. Furthermore, anti-diabetic treatments such as metformin and sulfonylurea have been observed to modulate the gut microbiota or at least their metabolic profiles, thereby potentially affecting insulin resistance through indirect mechanisms still unknown. Despite the scarcity of the metabolomic studies currently available on the microbial-host crosstalk, the data-driven results largely confirmed findings independently obtained from in vitro and animal model studies, putting forward the mechanisms underlying the implication of a dysfunctional gut microbiota in the development of metabolic disorders.




Palau-Rodriguez, M., Tulipani, S., Queipo-Ortuño, M. I., Urpi-Sarda, M., Tinahones, F. J., & Andres-Lacueva, C. (2015). Metabolomic insights into the intricate gut microbial-host interaction in the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Frontiers in Microbiology. Frontiers Media S.A.

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