Research ArticleMicrobiome

Commensal bacteria contribute to insulin resistance in aging by activating innate B1a cells

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Science Translational Medicine  14 Nov 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 467, eaat4271
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat4271

Insulin’s old flame

Both the immune system and metabolism are known to be dysregulated in aging; however, any link between the two is not well understood. Here, Bodogai et al. showed in aged mice and nonhuman primates that aging-associated insulin resistance may be mediated by changes in the gut microbiome. Age-induced gut permeability, which the authors tied to a reduction in intestinal butyrate and subsequent loss of Akkermansia muciniphila, led to increased leakage of proinflammatory factors. These factors activated monocytes, which, in turn, caused B1a cells to express 4-1BBL, resulting in impaired insulin signaling. Future studies will determine whether a microbiome-inflammatory-metabolic axis is targetable in aging or disease.

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