Disclosure: All authors hereby declare they have no competing financial interests in relation to the work described here.
Human intestinal microbiota composition is associated with local and systemic inflammation in obesity
Article first published online: 22 JUN 2013
Copyright © 2013 The Obesity Society
Volume 21, Issue 12, pages E607–E615, December 2013
How to Cite
Verdam, F. J., Fuentes, S., de Jonge, C., Zoetendal, E. G., Erbil, R., Greve, J. W., Buurman, W. A., de Vos, W. M. and Rensen, S. S. (2013), Human intestinal microbiota composition is associated with local and systemic inflammation in obesity. Obesity, 21: E607–E615. doi: 10.1002/oby.20466
Funding agencies: This work was financially supported by a Senter Novem IOP genomics grant to WAB and JWG (IGE05012A), a Transnational University Limburg grant and a Dutch Digestive Foundation project grant (WO 09-46) to SSR, and a Spinoza award to WMDV (NWO).
Author contributions: FJV, CdJ, EGZ, JWG, WAB, WMDV, and SSR conceived the study. Data was collected by FJV, SF, CdJ, EGZ, and RE, analyzed by FJV, SF, EGZ, WAB, and SSR, and interpreted by FJV, SF, CdJ, EGZ, JWG, WAB, WMDV, and SSR. Literature searches were performed by FJV, SF, EGZ, JWG, WAB, WMDV, and SSR. Figures were generated by FJV, SF, and SSR. All authors were involved in writing the article and had final approval of the submitted version.
- Issue published online: 3 DEC 2013
- Article first published online: 22 JUN 2013
- Accepted manuscript online: 21 MAR 2013 11:41AM EST
- Manuscript Accepted: 13 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Received: 22 DEC 2012
Intestinal microbiota have been suggested to contribute to the development of obesity, but the mechanism remains elusive. The relationship between microbiota composition, intestinal permeability, and inflammation in nonobese and obese subjects was investigated.
Design and Methods
Fecal microbiota composition of 28 subjects (BMI 18.6-60.3 kg m−2) was analyzed by a phylogenetic profiling microarray. Fecal calprotectin and plasma C-reactive protein levels were determined to evaluate intestinal and systemic inflammation. Furthermore, HbA1c, and plasma levels of transaminases and lipids were analyzed. Gastroduodenal, small intestinal, and colonic permeability were assessed by a multisaccharide test.
Based on microbiota composition, the study population segregated into two clusters with predominantly obese (15/19) or exclusively nonobese (9/9) subjects. Whereas intestinal permeability did not differ between clusters, the obese cluster showed reduced bacterial diversity, a decreased Bacteroidetes/Firmicutes ratio, and an increased abundance of potential proinflammatory Proteobacteria. Interestingly, fecal calprotectin was only detectable in subjects within the obese microbiota cluster (n = 8/19, P = 0.02). Plasma C-reactive protein was also increased in these subjects (P = 0.0005), and correlated with the Bacteroidetes/Firmicutes ratio (rs = −0.41, P = 0.03).
Intestinal microbiota alterations in obese subjects are associated with local and systemic inflammation, suggesting that the obesity-related microbiota composition has a proinflammatory effect.