Involvement of gut microbiota in the development of low-grade inflammation and type 2 diabetes associated with obesity

Gut Microbes. 2012 Jul-Aug;3(4):279-88. doi: 10.4161/gmic.19625. Epub 2012 May 14.


Obesity is associated with metabolic alterations related to glucose homeostasis and cardiovascular risk factors. These metabolic alterations are associated with low-grade inflammation that contributes to the onset of these diseases. We and others have provided evidence that gut microbiota participates in whole-body metabolism by affecting energy balance, glucose metabolism, and low-grade inflammation associated with obesity and related metabolic disorders. Recently, we defined gut microbiota-derived lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (and metabolic endotoxemia) as a factor involved in the onset and progression of inflammation and metabolic diseases. In this review, we discuss mechanisms involved in the development of metabolic endotoxemia such as the gut permeability. We also discuss our latest discoveries demonstrating a link between the gut microbiota, endocannabinoid system tone, leptin resistance, gut peptides (glucagon-like peptide-1 and -2), and metabolic features. Finally, we will introduce the role of the gut microbiota in specific dietary treatments (prebiotics and probiotics) and surgical interventions (gastric bypass).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology*
  • Endotoxins / toxicity
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology*
  • Metagenome*
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Obesity / pathology*


  • Endotoxins