The Subltle Balance Between Body Fat, Gut Microbiota and the Brain

john olov janssonJohn-Olov Jansson, of the Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University, Sweden will be discussing the subtle balance between body fat, gut microbiota and the brain at the 3rd World Congress on Targeting Microbiota, being held between the 21st and 23rd October at the Institut Pasteur, Paris.

The gut microbiota is a complex community including the life forms bacteria and archaea, but dominated by bacteria mainly from the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. The effect of gut microbiota on host physiology is not limited to the gastrointestinal tract. Emerging evidence suggest that gut microbiota could influence the central nervous system (CNS). New insight suggests that gut microbiota are an integral component regulation of  energy balance, and that it can be regarded as an organ   that contributes to efficient energy metabolism. The germ free mouse, that completely lacks gut microbiota, is a common model to study the interplay between gut microbiota and metabolism. Total lack of microbiota is a non-physiological condition, and it is nonspecific in its nature. However, it is has proven to be a good model for understanding the most constitutive functions of gut microbiota. In addition, data from alternative models such as probiotic- or antibiotic treatment could be problematic to interpret due to the immense complexity of gut microbiota, as well as our so far unsatisfactory knowledge of its constituents and their interrelations. Data from germfree mice are in line with interactions between  gut microbiota and  neuropeptides such as glucagon-like peptide (GLP-1) and brain derived growth factor (BDNF) in  parts of the brain regulating body fat mass. Further studies are needed to evaluate the biological significance of these findings.

Dr Jansson will present more details and strategies during IMS' Pasteur meeting.

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