Visceral obesity is a key risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D). Whereas gut dysbiosis appears to be instrumental for this relationship, whether gut-associated signatures translocate to extra-intestinal tissues and how this affects host metabolism remain elusive. Here we provide a comparative analysis of the microbial profile found in plasma, liver and in three distinct adipose tissues of individuals with morbid obesity. We explored how these tissue microbial signatures vary between individuals with normoglycaemia and those with T2D that were matched for body mass index. We identified tissue-specific signatures with higher bacterial load in the liver and omental adipose tissue. Gut commensals, but also environmental bacteria, showed tissue- and T2D-specific compartmentalisation. T2D signatures were most evident in mesenteric adipose tissue, in which individuals with diabetes displayed reduced bacterial diversity concomitant with fewer Gram-positive bacteria, such as Faecalibacterium, as opposed to enhanced levels of typically opportunistic Gram-negative Enterobacteriaceae. Plasma samples of individuals with diabetes were similarly enriched in Enterobacteriaceae, including the pathobiont Escherichia–Shigella. Our work provides evidence for the presence of selective plasma and tissue microbial signatures in individuals with severe obesity and identifies new potential microbial targets and biomarkers of T2D.
Citation Anhê, F.F., Jensen, B.A.H., Varin, T.V. et al. Type 2 diabetes influences bacterial tissue compartmentalisation in human obesity. Nat Metab2, 233–242 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-020-0178-9