A fat-enriched diet modifies intestinal microbiota and initiates a low-grade inflammation, insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes. Here, we demonstrate that before the onset of diabetes, after only one week of a high-fat diet (HFD), live commensal intestinal bacteria are present in large numbers in the adipose tissue and the blood where they can induce inflammation. This translocation is prevented in mice lacking the microbial pattern recognition receptors Nod1 or CD14, but overtly increased in Myd88 knockout and ob/ob mouse. This 'metabolic bacteremia' is characterized by an increased co-localization with dendritic cells from the intestinal lamina propria and by an augmented intestinal mucosal adherence of non-pathogenic Escherichia coli. The bacterial translocation process from intestine towards tissue can be reversed by six weeks of treatment with the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis 420, which improves the animals' overall inflammatory and metabolic status. Altogether, these data demonstrate that the early onset of HFD-induced hyperglycemia is characterized by an increased bacterial translocation from intestine towards tissues, fuelling a continuous metabolic bacteremia, which could represent new therapeutic targets.
Copyright © 2011 EMBO Molecular Medicine.