Evidence suggests gut microbiome is associated with diabetes. However, it’s unclear whether this association remains in non-diabetic subjects. We conducted a monozygotic twin study, in which the participants are without diabetes, and are not taking any medications, to explore the potential association.
Nine pairs of adult monozygotic twins were enrolled and divided into two twin-pair groups (a and b). Clinical and laboratory measurements were conducted. Visceral adipose tissue (VAT) was assessed. Fecal samples were collected to analyze the microbiome composition by 16S rDNA gene amplicon sequencing. Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry was performed to detect the metabolites.
The participants aged 53 years old averagely, with 8 (88.9%) pairs were women. All the participants were obese with VAT higher than 100 cm2 (152.2±31.6). There was no significant difference of VAT between the twin groups (153.6±30.4 cm2 vs. 150.8±29.5 cm2, p=0.54). Other clinical measurements, including BMI, lipid profiles, fasting insulin and blood glucose, were also not significantly different between groups (p≥0.056), whereas HbA1c level of group a is significantly higher than group b(5.8±0.3 % vs. 5.6±0.2 %, p=0.008). The number and richness of OUTs are relatively higher in group a, and 13 metabolites were significantly different between two groups. Furthermore, several of the 13 metabolites could be significantly linked to special taxons. The potential pathway involved drug metabolism-other enzymes, Tryptophan metabolism and Citrate cycle.
Gut microbiome composition and their metabolites may modulate glucose metabolism in obese adults without diabetes, through Tryptophan metabolism, Citrate cycle and other pathways.