Holdemanella biformis improves glucose tolerance and regulates GLP-1 signaling in obese mice

FASEB J. 2021 Jul;35(7):e21734. doi: 10.1096/fj.202100126R.


Impaired glucose homeostasis in obesity is mitigated by enhancing the glucoregulatory actions of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), and thus, strategies that improve GLP-1 sensitivity and secretion have therapeutic potential for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. This study shows that Holdemanella biformis, isolated from the feces of a metabolically healthy volunteer, ameliorates hyperglycemia, improves oral glucose tolerance and restores gluconeogenesis and insulin signaling in the liver of obese mice. These effects were associated with the ability of H. biformis to restore GLP-1 levels, enhancing GLP-1 neural signaling in the proximal and distal small intestine and GLP-1 sensitivity of vagal sensory neurons, and to modify the cecal abundance of unsaturated fatty acids and the bacterial species associated with metabolic health. Our findings overall suggest the potential use of H biformis in the management of type 2 diabetes in obesity to optimize the sensitivity and function of the GLP-1 system, through direct and indirect mechanisms.

Keywords: Holdemanella biformis; glucagon-like peptide 1; gut microbiota; obesity; type 2 diabetes; vagal afferent neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / microbiology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Firmicutes / physiology*
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 / metabolism*
  • Gluconeogenesis / physiology
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose Tolerance Test / methods
  • Hyperglycemia / metabolism
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Obese / metabolism*
  • Mice, Obese / microbiology*
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / microbiology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide 1
  • Glucose

Supplementary concepts

  • Holdemanella biformis