Functional consequences of microbial shifts in the human gastrointestinal tract linked to antibiotic treatment and obesity

 Abstract

The microbiomes in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of individuals receiving antibiotics and those in obese subjects undergo compositional shifts, the metabolic effects and linkages of which are not clearly understood. Herein, we set to gain insight into these effects, particularly with regard to carbohydrate metabolism, and to contribute to unravel the underlying mechanisms and consequences for health conditions. We measured the activity level of GIT carbohydrate-active enzymes toward 23 distinct sugars in adults patients (n = 2) receiving 14-d β-lactam therapy and in obese (n = 7) and lean (n = 5) adolescents. We observed that both 14 d antibiotic-treated and obese subjects showed higher and less balanced sugar anabolic capacities, with 40% carbohydrates being preferentially processed as compared with non-treated and lean patients. Metaproteome-wide metabolic reconstructions confirmed that the impaired utilization of sugars propagated throughout the pentose phosphate metabolism, which had adverse consequences for the metabolic status of the GIT microbiota. The results point to an age-independent positive association between GIT glycosidase activity and the body mass index, fasting blood glucose and insulin resistance (r2 ≥ 0.95). Moreover, antibiotics altered the active fraction of enzymes controlling the thickness, composition and consistency of the mucin glycans. Our data and analyses provide biochemical insights into the effects of antibiotic usage on the dynamics of the GIT microbiota and pin-point presumptive links to obesity. The knowledge and the hypotheses generated herein lay a foundation for subsequent, systematic research that will be paramount for the design of “smart” dietary and therapeutic interventions to modulate host-microbe metabolic co-regulation in intestinal homeostasis.

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Pages
306 - 315
doi
10.4161/gmic.25321
Type
Research Paper
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Functional consequences of microbial shifts in the human gastrointestinal tract linked to antibiotic treatment and obesity