Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Gut Microbiota Transplantation may Prevent Development of Diabetes and Fatty Liver Disease

April 18, 2012

BARCELONA, Spain, April 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –

Exciting new data presented today at the International Liver Congress(TM) 2012 shows
the gut microbiota’s causal role in the development of diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty
liver disease (NAFLD), independent of obesity[1]. Though an early stage animal model, the
French study highlights the possibility of preventing diabetes and NAFLD with gut
microbiota transplantation – the engrafting of new microbiota, usually through
administering faecal material from a healthy donor into the colon of a diseased

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In the 16 week study, two groups of germ free mice received gut microbiota
transplants; one set from donor mice displaying symptoms of insulin resistance and liver
steatosis (responders), the other from normal mice (non responders). The donor mice were
selected due to their response to being fed a high fat diet.

The germ free group that received microbiota from symptomatic mice (responder
receivers – RR) showed higher levels of fat concentration in the liver as well as being
insulin resistant. The germ free group that received microbiota from healthy mice
(non-responder-receivers – NRR) maintained normal glucose levels and sensitivity to

EASL Scientific Committee Member Dr Frank Lammert said: “The factors leading to
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) are poorly understood, but it is known that
NAFLD and Type 2 diabetes are characterised, respectively, by liver inflammation and
metabolic disorders like insulin resistance.”

“This study shows that different microbiota cause different metabolic responses in
animals. By implanting microbiota from healthy mice, the study authors prevented the
development of liver inflammation and insulin resistance, both indications of liver
disease and diabetes. Thus, gut microbiota transplants could have a therapeutic role in
the development of these diseases.”

The RR mice also showed lower levels of microorganisms than usually found in the
healthy gut. Lachnospiraceae was identified as the species most important in developing
fatty liver and insulin resistance.

At present, the intestinal microbiota is considered to constitute a “microbial organ”:
one that has pivotal roles in the body’s metabolism as well as immune function. Therefore
transplantation aims to restore gut functionality and re-establish a certain state of
intestinal flora.

Notes to Editors

About EASL

EASL is the leading European scientific society involved in promoting research and
education in hepatology. EASL attracts the foremost hepatology experts and has an
impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education
and promoting changes in European liver policy.

EASL’s main focus on education and research is delivered through numerous events and
initiatives, including:

        - The International Liver Congress
          [http://www.easl.eu/_the-international-liver-congress/general-information ](TM) which
          is the main scientific and professional event in hepatology worldwide
        - Meetings [http://www.easl.eu/_events ] including Monothematic and Special
          conferences, Post Graduate courses and other endorsed meetings that take place
          throughout the year
        - Clinical and Basic Schools of Hepatology [http://www.easl.eu/_education ], a
          series of events covering different aspects in the field of hepatology
        - Journal of Hepatology [http://www.easl.eu/members/journal-of-hepatology ]
          published monthly
        - Participation in a number of policy initiatives at European level
        - iLiver iPhone app [http://www.iliver.eu ] - a free medical app developed by
          EASL, with content fully authored, validated and accredited by 42 independent liver

About The International Liver Congress(TM) 2012

The International Liver Congress(TM) 2012, the 47th annual meeting of the European
Association for the study of the Liver, is being held at the Centre Convencions
Internacional (CCIB) in Barcelona from April 18 – 22, 2012. The congress annually attracts
over 8,300 clinicians and scientists from around the world and provides an opportunity to
hear the latest research, perspectives and treatments of liver disease from principal
experts in the field.


1. Le Roy T et al. Gut microbiota transplantation demonstrates its causal role in the
development of type 2 diabetes and fatty liver. Abstract presented at the International
Liver Congress(TM) 2012

2. Khoruts A and Sadowsky MJ, Therapeutic transplantation of the distal gut
microbiota. Mucosal Immunology 2011;4:4-7

           For further information on the studies, or to request an
           interview, please do not hesitate to contact the EASL Press
           Office on:
           Email: easlpressoffice@cohnwolfe.com
           Travis Taylor   +44(0)7894-386-422
           Vicky O'Connor  +44(0)7894-386-428



SOURCE European Association for the Study of the Liver

Source: PR Newswire