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The gut microbial signature of gestational diabetes mellitus and the association with diet intervention

By Na Wu, Jingwei Zhou, Heng Mo, Qing Mu, Huiting Su, Mei Li, Yimeng Yu, Aiyu Liu, Qi Zhang, Jun Xu, Wei-Dong Yu, Peng Liu, Guoli Liu

Posted 09 Sep 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.09.07.459364

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a high-risk pregnancy complication that is associated with metabolic disorder phenotypes, such as abnormal blood glucose and obesity. The link between microbiota and diet management contributes to metabolic homeostasis in GDM. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the structure of the gut microbiota in GDM and to explore the effect of dietary management on the microbiota structure. In this study, we analyzed the composition of the gut microbiota between 27 GDM and 30 healthy subjects at two time points using Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. The taxonomy analyses suggested that the overall bacteria clustered by diabetes status, rather than diet intervention. Of particular interest, the phylum Acidobacteria in GDM was significantly increased, and positively correlated with blood glucose levels. Moreover, Partial least-squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) revealed that certain genera in the phyla Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, and Lentisphaerae characterized the GDM gut microbiota. Correlation analysis indicated that blood glucose levels and BMI index were correlated with the relative abundance of SCFAS-producing genera. Through the comparison between the GDM and healthy samples with or without diet intervention, we discovered that the role of short-term diet management in GDM processes is associated with the change in the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio and some specific taxa, rather than an alternative gut microbial pattern. Our study have important implications for understanding the beneficial effects of diet intervention on the specific gut microbiota and thus possibly their metabolism in pregnant women with GDM.

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