News from the AGA

AGA funds noteworthy microbiome research


Congrats to AGA Research Foundation grantee Amir Zarrinpar, MD, PhD, from UC San Diego whose new microbiome research has been published in Nature Communications. Dr. Zarrinpar — a former AGA Microbiome Junior Investigator Research Award recipient — used his AGA funding to study cyclical fluctuations in the gut microbiome and its effects on host metabolism. This new study in Nature Communications is an unexpected finding resulting from Dr. Zarrinpar’s AGA research project with his collaborator Satchin Panda, PhD, and their colleagues in the Salk Institute.

The study, Antibiotic-induced microbiome depletion alters metabolic homeostasis by affecting gut signaling and colonic metabolism, finds that mice that have their microbiomes depleted with antibiotics have decreased levels of glucose in their blood and better insulin sensitivity. The research has implications for understanding the role of the microbiome in diabetes. It also could lead to better insight into the side effects seen in people who are being treated with high levels of antibiotics.

The next steps for Dr. Zarrinpar and his team are to better understand what bacterial metabolites can affect insulin sensitivity and to functionally manipulate the microbiome to alter gut signaling to treat diabetes and other metabolic diseases. We look forward to seeing additional research on this topic that can eventually translate into improvements in patient care.

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