Gut Microbiome as a Target for the Treatment of Cardiometabolic Diseases

European Coordinator:
  • Fredrik BÄCKHED, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg (Sweden)
North American Coordinator:
  • Stanley HAZEN, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH (USA)
  • Martin BLASER, New York University, New Jersey (USA)
  • Karine CLEMENT, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris 6 (France)
  • Michael FISCHBACH, University of California, San Francisco (USA)
  • Ulf LANDMESSER Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Germany)
  • Max NIEUWDORP, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam (Netherlands)
  • Federico REY, University of Wisconsin, Madison (USA)

The term cardiometabolic disease includes cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the traditional metabolic disorders of obesity and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Collectively these diseases increase with aging, and are clearly impacted by diet, both in the quantity and quality of food intake. Accumulating evidence shows that the collection of microbes (e.g. bacteria and viruses) within the human intestine-called the gut microbiome-influences human metabolism, inflammation, and the propensity to develop CVD, diabetes or become obese, and serves as a filter of our environmental exposure. The TNE scientists want to understand how the microbes in the gut contribute to CVD development. Subsequently, as a major goal of the Network, they aim to develop therapeutic small molecules that might inhibit specific gut microbiome enzymes linked to human metabolic and CVD. Importantly, the scientists have preliminarily identified multiple microbiome related metabolites that are associated with blood clotting, atherosclerosis, and diabetes; one network member has already begun an intervention study in diabetic patients using a specific bacterium to improve patients’ response to their own insulin.