Early Life Antibiotic Exposure Affects Pancreatic Islet Development and Metabolic Regulation

Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 2;7:41778. doi: 10.1038/srep41778.


Childhood antibiotic exposure has been recently linked with increased risk of metabolic disease later in life. A better understanding of this association would potentially provide strategies to reduce the childhood chronic disease epidemic. Therefore, we explored the underlying mechanisms using a swine model that better mimics human infants than rodents, and demonstrated that early life antibiotic exposure affects glucose metabolism 5 weeks after antibiotic withdrawal, which was associated with changes in pancreatic development. Antibiotics exerted a transient impact on postnatal gut microbiota colonization and microbial metabolite production, yet changes in the expression of key genes involved in short-chain fatty acid signaling and pancreatic development were detected in later life. These findings suggest a programming effect of early life antibiotic exposure that merits further investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Biomarkers
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects*
  • Islets of Langerhans / embryology
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism*
  • Organogenesis / drug effects*
  • Swine


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • Fatty Acids
  • Insulin
  • Glucose

Grant support