Our contribution to the field
A key finding from Fredrik Bäckhed’s postdoc training at Washington University in St Louis in Jeffrey Gordon’s group, was the identification of gut microbiota as an environmental factor that modulates fat storage in its host. In the Wallenberg Laboratory for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, our research focuses on determining how the gut microbiota contributes to cardiometabolic diseases, and we have recently shown that the gut microbiota is altered in individuals with prediabetes and untreated type 2 diabetes.
Ongoing major aims of the group are to: (1) identify factors that contribute to the altered gut microbiota in individuals with cardiometabolic diseases, (2) stratify individuals into subpopulations based on their microbial composition and clinical variables for personalized interventions, and (3) investigate how the gut microbiota contributes to the therapeutic efficacy of interventions such as diet, drugs, and bariatric surgery. With this knowledge, we aim to develop novel microbiota-based therapeutics, and, in a step towards fulfilling this aim, we have recently identified microbial metabolites as potential regulators of cardiometabolic diseases.
The human intestinal tract is inhabited by 10-100 trillion microbes consisting of thousands of different species that have co-evolved with the human host. This microbial community, termed the gut microbiota, has an immense capacity to affect host biology. It is fundamental to many processes, including development of our immune system, processing of otherwise indigestible dietary polysaccharides, and production of vitamins and hormones.
Want to know more?
- The gut microbiota as an environmental factor that regulates fat storage, PNAS (2004)
- Mechanisms underlying the resistance to diet-induced obesity in germ-free mice, PNAS (2007)
- From association to causality: the role of the gut microbiota and its functional products on host metabolism, Molecular Cell (2020)
- Gut microbial metabolites as multi-kingdom intermediates, Nature (2020)
- The gut microbiota - masters of host development and physiology, Nature Reviews Microbiology (2013)