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Microbes On-Air: Gut and Tissue Microbiota as Targets in Type 2 Diabetes

Serino, Matteo PhD*,†; Blasco-Baque, Vincent MD*,†,‡; Burcelin, Remy PhD*,†

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: October 2012 - Volume 46 - Issue - p S27–S28
doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e318264e844

Each individual can be distinguished by the heterogeneity of the trillions of microbes inhabiting his gastrointestinal tract. This concept, together with the role that gut microbiota is considered to play in the induction of metabolic diseases, paves the way for the development of personalized medicine. By exploiting our unique animal model of metabolic adaptation to a high-fat diet, we have recently shown that differential gut microbiota lead to different metabolic phenotypes—metabotypes. Moreover, we have also reported that a given metabotype can be distinguished by different profiles of gut microbes, symptomatic of the complexity of the regulation of host physiology by gut microbiota. Furthermore, in an effort to find bacterial predictors of type 2 diabetes (T2D), we discovered that in a healthy population, subjects who subsequently developed T2D had increased blood levels of bacterial 16S rDNA well before. In addition, tissue (blood) microbiota, mainly characterized by Proteobacteria (up to 90%), has been discovered both in healthy individuals and in diabetic patients. Altogether, our results confirm the presence of gut microbes and propose tissue microbiota as new targets for the innovative treatment of T2D.

*Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM)

Unité Mixte de Recherche (UMR), Institut de Maladies Métaboliques et Cardiovasculaires, Université Paul Sabatier (UPS)

Parodontites et Maladies Générales, Faculté de Chirurgie Dentaire, Toulouse, France

R.B.’s laboratory is supported by grants from the Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR, France), the European Commission’s Seventh Framework programme (Grant No. 241913; FLORINASH), and from the Société Francophone du Diabète (SFD; to both M.S. and V.B.B.) and the Benjamin Delessert foundation to M.S.

The authors declare that they have nothing to disclose.

Reprints: Matteo Serino, PhD, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), 1, Av. Poulhés, BP 84225, 31432, Toulouse Cedex 4, France (e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.