E. coli Nissle 1917 modulates host glucose metabolism without directly acting on glucose

Sci Rep. 2021 Dec 1;11(1):23230. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-02431-8.


Managing postprandial glycemic response, or the increase in blood sugar following a meal, is a crucial component to maintaining healthy blood sugar in patients with diabetes. To test whether oral probiotics can impact postprandial glycemic response, E. coli Nissle 1917 (EcN) was evaluated in an oral glucose tolerance test. Oral gavage of EcN concurrent with a glucose bolus reduced the post-gavage glycemic response in mice. However, there was no difference in glycemic response when comparing EcN to a mutant deficient in glucose metabolism. This suggests that while EcN can alter glycemic response to a glucose bolus, this effect is not mediated by direct uptake of glucose. Of the possible indirect effects EcN could have, gastric emptying rate was highlighted as a likely cause, but EcN had no effect on gastric emptying rate in mice. This leaves many more possible indirect explanations for the interaction between EcN and host glucose metabolism to be explored in future work.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism*
  • Gastric Emptying
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mutation
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage*


  • Glucose