The community of microorganisms that resides in the gut, known as the microbiome, has been shown to work in tandem with the genes of a host organism to regulate insulin secretion, a key variable in the onset of the metabolic disease diabetes.
That is the primary finding of a study published Feb. 14 in the journal Cell Reports by a team led by University of Wisconsin–Madison researchers Alan Attie and Federico Rey. The new report describes experiments in mice showing how genetic variation in a host animal shapes the microbiome — a rich ecosystem of mostly beneficial microorgannisms that resides in the gut — and sets the table for the onset of metabolic disease.
“We’re trying to use genetics to find out how bugs affect diabetes and metabolism,” explains Attie, a UW–Madison professor of biochemistry and a corresponding author of the study.
To read more about this research, see the press release below.