Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Intestinal bacterium Akkermansia curbs obesity

Date:
May 15, 2013
Source:
Wageningen University and Research Centre
Summary:
A dominant and useful bacterium called Akkermansia muciniphila is present in the intestinal system of all humans, from babies to the elderly. This microorganism is found in the intestinal mucus layer that protects against intruders. Even more remarkable is that this bacterium has a favorable effect on the disrupted metabolism associated with obesity.

Artist's rendering of bacteria.
Credit: © Jezper / Fotolia

A dominant and useful bacterium called Akkermansia muciniphila is present in the intestinal system of all humans, from babies to the elderly. This microorganism is found in the intestinal mucus layer that protects against intruders. Even more remarkable is that this bacterium has a favourable effect on the disrupted metabolism associated with obesity.

Prof. Patrice Cani from Brussels and Prof. Willem de Vos from Wageningen University, together with their colleagues, published these findings in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). They see potential in deploying Akkermansia bacteria to further understand and treat obesity and medical consequences.

Obesity and type 2 diabetes are both characterised by symptoms including inflammation, changes in the composition of the intestinal bacteria and the disruption of the natural barrier in the intestines. Ten years ago, researchers at the Laboratory of Microbiology at Wageningen University, part of Wageningen UR, discovered the bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila (named after the Wageningen microbial ecologist Dr Antoon Akkermans, 1941-2006), which was able to grow in the mucus layer of the intestines. The bacteria were apparently present in large numbers in humans (and rodents) that were not overweight. Fewer were present in humans and rodents with inflammations or obesity. The microbiologists at Universitι Louvain in Brussels and their Wageningen colleagues wondered what the role of this bacterium could be.

In the article that appeared on 13 May in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research team concluded that the bacteria are less frequent in mice with induced obesity and with type 2 (adult-onset) diabetes. Furthermore, administering rather indigestible fibres such as oligofructose, known for its advantageous effect on intestinal biota, resulted in a recovery of the Akkermansia population in mice. The presence of the bacteria strengthens the intestinal barrier and is also inversely correlated with weight increase (fat storage), inflammation reactions in fatty tissues and insulin resistance. However, is there also a causal relationship between the favourable developments and the occurrence of Akkermansia bacteria?

To check that, the researchers administered Akkermansia bacteria to ordinary mice on various diets. With a normal diet, no effect was noticed but in mice that became overweight as a result of a high-fat diet, the Akkermansia bacteria caused a reduction in fat development and associated metabolic defects, without affecting food intake. After the administration of Akkermansia bacteria, there was an increase in endocannabinoid levels, a substance that ensures blood glucose remains at the correct level. In addition, the intestinal barrier function was strengthened. Only intact, living bacteria produced these results; the researchers noticed that bacteria that had been heated beforehand had no effect. Although human studies have not yet been carried out, the results seem to show potential; a treatment with Akkermansia bacteria could reduce inflammation and may prevent obesity.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wageningen University and Research Centre. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. Everard, C. Belzer, L. Geurts, J. P. Ouwerkerk, C. Druart, L. B. Bindels, Y. Guiot, M. Derrien, G. G. Muccioli, N. M. Delzenne, W. M. de Vos, P. D. Cani. Cross-talk between Akkermansia muciniphila and intestinal epithelium controls diet-induced obesity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1219451110

Cite This Page:

Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Intestinal bacterium Akkermansia curbs obesity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130515113744.htm>.
Wageningen University and Research Centre. (2013, May 15). Intestinal bacterium Akkermansia curbs obesity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130515113744.htm
Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Intestinal bacterium Akkermansia curbs obesity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130515113744.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

In Washington, a Push to Sterilize Stray Cats

AFP (Apr. 14, 2014) — To curb the growing numbers of feral cats in the US capital, the Washington Humane Society is encouraging residents to set traps and bring the animals to a sterilization clinic, after which they are released.. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

After Attack, Officials Kill 5 Bears in Florida

AP (Apr. 14, 2014) — Florida wildlife officials say they have killed five bears following an attack on a woman in a suburban subdivision in central Florida. Forty-five year-old Terri Frana was attacked by a large bear in her driveway Saturday. (April 14) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Uruguay Opens Its First Cannabis Library

Uruguay Opens Its First Cannabis Library

AFP (Apr. 13, 2014) — Uruguay opened its first Cannabis Library in Montevideo on Saturday, where people can come and read books on cannabis or take classes on how to grow the plant or even how to cook with it. Duration: 01:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins