The intestinal immune system controls the body weight

December 5, 2014

A group of UCL researchers (Louvain Drug Research Institute) identified an unsuspected mechanism impacting the development of obesity and diabetes type 2 after following a diet with a high dose of fat nutrition. The team of Professor Patrice D. Cani - in direct collaboration with two French teams, a Swedish expert as well as other UCL-researchers (LDRI and Ludwig Institute) - made an important discovery related to the essential role of the intestinal immune system regarding the control of the energy metabolism.

Today, the work of Doctor Amandine Everard (in charge of FNRS-research) and of Professor Patrice D. Cani (qualified FNRS-researcher and WELBIO-researcher) highlights a new therapeutic target for treatment of obesity and diabetes type 2. Indeed, they were able to demonstrate for the very first time that as a result of fat nutrition, the inactivation of a part of the intestine immune system (a protein called MyD88) allows these persons to lose weight and to reduce the diabetes type 2, linked to the obesity.

More specifically, the team shows that when modifying the response of the by disabling this protein MyD88 only in those cells covering the intestine, this allows to slow down de development of diabetes induced by a diet of fat nutrition, to limit the development of adipose tissue, to reduce the harmful inflammation present because of the obesity and to strengthen the barrier function assured by our intestine and limiting as such the inappropriate transit of bacterial elements of our intestines in our body.

Even more important, the researchers managed to demonstrate that because of this modification within the immunity system, it is experimentally demonstrated possible to lose weight and thus to have a therapeutic effect, even when the animals used for the experiments are already obese and diabetic.

Among the various revealed mechanisms, the UCL-team identified that in addition to the partial protection against inflammation and diabetes type 2, the mice that do not have this protein MyD88 in their intestines, are as well protected against obesity because they consume more energy than other obese mice. In addition, they have different intestinal macrobiotics. Surprisingly, the teams have shown that it is possible to provide a partial protection against obesity and diabetes by transferring (grafting) the intestinal bacteria of these mice to other mice that are axenic (without flora).

All the research work put together leads thus to the recommendation that during consumption of fat nutrition, the intestine immunity system plays an important role in the fat storage regulation in the body and is literally capable to modify the composition of intestinal bacteria (including some which are still unidentified).

The discovery of the UCL-researchers, published in the scientific journal Nature Communications, confirms the involvement of in the development of obesity, but even more important, it provides new therapeutic possibilities, being a protein of the intestine immunity system for treatment of and .

Explore further: Gut bacteria promote obesity in mice

More information: Nature Communications. 5:5648, DOI: 10.1038/ncomms6648

Related Stories

Gut bacteria promote obesity in mice

September 30, 2014
A species of gut bacteria called Clostridium ramosum, coupled with a high-fat diet, may cause animals to gain weight. The work is published this week in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Gut microbe battles obesity

May 14, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Akkermansia muciniphila is one of the many microbes that live in our intestines. This bacterium, which feeds on the intestine's mucus lining, comprises between 3 and 5 percent of the gut microbes of healthy ...

How fiber prevents diabetes and obesity

January 14, 2014
Scientists have known for the past twenty years that a fiber-rich diet protects the body against obesity and diabetes but the mechanisms involved have so far eluded them. A French-Swedish team including researchers from CNRS, ...

Newly discovered hormone with potential treatment for obesity, type 2 diabetes, liver disease

November 17, 2014
Researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered how a previously unknown hormone serves as a messenger from fat cells to the liver and are investigating the potential of developing a new treatment for metabolic ...

Plant used in traditonal Chinese medicine may treat metabolic diseases and obesity

December 1, 2014
New research published in the December 2014 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, shows that a component found in in the plant, Glycyrrhiza uralensis, may inhibit the development of metabolic disorders by stopping the ...

How bile acids could fight diabetes

November 3, 2014
EPFL scientists have shown that a receptor activated by bile acids can reduce fat-tissue inflammation and insulin resistance in obesity-linked diabetes.

Recommended for you

Researchers develop treatment to reduce rate of cleft palate relapse complication

September 22, 2017
Young people with cleft palate may one day face fewer painful surgeries and spend less time undergoing uncomfortable orthodontic treatments thanks to a new therapy developed by researchers from the UCLA School of Dentistry. ...

Exosomes are the missing link to insulin resistance in diabetes

September 21, 2017
Chronic tissue inflammation resulting from obesity is an underlying cause of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. But the mechanism by which this occurs has remained cloaked, until now.

Thousands of new microbial communities identified in human body

September 20, 2017
A new study of the human microbiome—the trillions of microbial organisms that live on and within our bodies—has analyzed thousands of new measurements of microbial communities from the gut, skin, mouth, and vaginal microbiome, ...

Study finds immune system is critical to regeneration

September 20, 2017
The answer to regenerative medicine's most compelling question—why some organisms can regenerate major body parts such as hearts and limbs while others, such as humans, cannot—may lie with the body's innate immune system, ...

Immune cells produce wound healing factor, could lead to new IBD treatment

September 20, 2017
Specific immune cells have the ability to produce a healing factor that can promote wound repair in the intestine, a finding that could lead to new, potential therapeutic treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according ...

As men's weight rises, sperm health may fall

September 20, 2017
(HealthDay)—A widening waistline may make for shrinking numbers of sperm, new research suggests.

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

h20dr
not rated yet Dec 05, 2014
So what should I eat? What does this mean?
katesisco
not rated yet Dec 05, 2014
Well, it seems like fecal transplants are the new wonder drug.
SciTechdude
not rated yet Dec 05, 2014
If you got it, flaunt it, and if you don't got it, shove it up your bum?
Huns
not rated yet Dec 08, 2014
This article wasn't proofread and contains all kinds of typos and blundering, unwieldy sentences. It's so hard to read that I had to think twice to extract meaning from what should be obvious sentences.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.