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Type 1 Diabetes Linked to Changes in Gut Bacteria and Inflammatory Profile

Type 1 Diabetes Linked to Changes in Gut Bacteria and Inflammatory Profile

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  • Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by impaired insulin secretion.
  • Digestive mucosa of patients with T1D showed abnormalities in the inflammatory profile and microbiota.
  • These gut modifications differ from the patterns observed in individuals without T1D or those who have other conditions like celiac disease.

People with Type 1 diabetes have a distinct inflammatory profile and gut bacteria in the digestive tract.

This pattern is different from individuals who do not have diabetes or from those who have autoimmune conditions like celiac disease.

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Type 1 Diabetes Linked to Changes in Gut Bacteria and Inflammatory Profile

"Our findings indicate the individuals with Type 1 diabetes have an inflammatory signature and microbiome that differ from what we see in people who do not have diabetes or even in those with other autoimmune conditions such as celiac disease," said the study's senior author, Lorenzo Piemonti, MD, of the Diabetes Research Institute at San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy.

"Some researchers have theorized that the gut may contribute to the development of Type 1 diabetes, so it is important to understand how the disease affects the digestive system and microbiome." Piemonti added.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) occurs when the body produces little to no insulin. Insulin is important to regulate the level of glucose in blood. It carries blood sugar to the body's cells.

Type 1 diabetes usually affects people at a young age.

It is an autoimmune condition where the body's own immune system attacks the pancreas and prevents the gland from producing insulin.

Approximately 1.25 million adults and children in America have type 1 diabetes.

According to the Endocrine Society's facts and figures, 1-5 individuals among every 1,000 American adults have Type 1 diabetes.

For every 1000 youth between ages 10-19 years, at least 3 have type 1 diabetes.


For the study, researchers recruited 54 individuals. Among them, 19 had T1D, 19 had celiac disease and 16 were controls.

These individuals underwent endoscopies and biopsies of the first part of the small intestine, known as the duodenum, at San Raffaele Hospital between 2009 and 2015.

The individuals were either undergoing a diagnostic procedure to diagnose a gastrointestinal disorder or volunteered to participate in the study.

Inflammation was evaluated by gene expression study and immunohistochemistry. Microbiome composition was analyzed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing.

Unlike other studies that rely on stool samples, this approach allowed the research team to directly assess the gastrointestinal tract and bacteria.

The analysis of tissues sampled from the endoscopy produced high-resolution snapshots of the innermost layer of the gastrointestinal tract.


The study indicated that the duodenal mucosa of individuals with Type 1 diabetes showed abnormalities in the inflammatory profile and microbiota.

The inflammation of the gut mucosain individuals with T1D was linked to 10 specific genes, different from those participants who had celiac disease and control healthy subjects.

Participants with Type 1 diabetes also displayed a distinct combination of gut bacteria that was different from the other two groups.

In order to understand the complex pathogenesis of T1D, it is critical to study the mechanisms underlying these features. This would also indicate new perspectives for future therapies targeting the intestine.

"We don't know if Type 1 diabetes' signature effect on the gut is caused by or the result of the body's own attacks on the pancreas," Piemonti said. "By exploring this, we may be able to find new ways to treat the disease by targeting the unique gastrointestinal characteristics of individuals with Type 1 diabetes."

The new study is published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

References :
  1. Lorenzo Piemonti et al. Duodenal mucosa of patients with type 1 diabetes shows distinctive inflammatory profile and microbiota. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism ; (2017) doi.org/10.1210/jc.2016-3222
  2. Diabetes - (http://endocrinefacts.org/health-conditions/diabetes-2/)
  3. Statistics About Diabetes - (http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/)
Source: Medindia

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