BARCELONA, Spain, April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Exciting new data presented today at the International Liver Congress™ 2012 shows the gut microbiota's causal role in the development of diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), independent of obesity. Though an early stage animal model, the French study highlights the possibility of preventing diabetes and NAFLD with gut microbiota transplantation - the engrafting of new microbiota, usually through administering faecal material from a healthy donor into the colon of a diseased recipient.
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In the 16 week study, two groups of germ free mice received gut microbiota transplants; one set from donor mice displaying symptoms of insulin resistance and liver steatosis (responders), the other from normal mice (non responders). The donor mice were selected due to their response to being fed a high fat diet.
The germ free group that received microbiota from symptomatic mice (responder receivers - RR) showed higher levels of fat concentration in the liver as well as being insulin resistant. The germ free group that received microbiota from healthy mice (non-responder-receivers - NRR) maintained normal glucose levels and sensitivity to insulin.
EASL Scientific Committee Member Dr Frank Lammert said: "The factors leading to Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) are poorly understood, but it is known that NAFLD and Type 2 diabetes are characterised, respectively, by liver inflammation and metabolic disorders like insulin resistance."
"This study shows that different microbiota cause different metabolic responses in animals. By implanting microbiota from healthy mice, the study authors prevented the development of liver inflammation and insulin resistance, both indications of liver disease and diabetes. Thus, gut microbiota transplants could have a therapeutic role in the development of these diseases."
The RR mice also showed lower levels of microorganisms than usually found in the healthy gut. Lachnospiraceae was identified as the species most important in developing fatty liver and insulin resistance.
At present, the intestinal microbiota is considered to constitute a "microbial organ": one that has pivotal roles in the body's metabolism as well as immune function. Therefore transplantation aims to restore gut functionality and re-establish a certain state of intestinal flora.
Notes to Editors
EASL is the leading European scientific society involved in promoting research and education in hepatology. EASL attracts the foremost hepatology experts and has an impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education and promoting changes in European liver policy.
EASL's main focus on education and research is delivered through numerous events and initiatives, including:
About The International Liver Congress™ 2012
The International Liver Congress™ 2012, the 47th annual meeting of the European Association for the study of the Liver, is being held at the Centre Convencions Internacional (CCIB) in Barcelona from April 18 - 22, 2012. The congress annually attracts over 8,300 clinicians and scientists from around the world and provides an opportunity to hear the latest research, perspectives and treatments of liver disease from principal experts in the field.
1. Le Roy T et al. Gut microbiota transplantation demonstrates its causal role in the development of type 2 diabetes and fatty liver. Abstract presented at the International Liver Congress™ 2012
2. Khoruts A and Sadowsky MJ, Therapeutic transplantation of the distal gut microbiota. Mucosal Immunology 2011;4:4-7
For further information on the studies, or to request an
interview, please do not hesitate to contact the EASL Press
Travis Taylor +44(0)7894-386-422
Vicky O'Connor +44(0)7894-386-428
|SOURCE European Association for the Study of the Liver|
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