ISSN 1662-4009 (online)

ESPE Yearbook of Paediatric Endocrinology (2021) 18 2.15 | DOI: 10.1530/ey.18.2.15

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2020 Nov 27;11:603021. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2020.603021. PMID: 33329403.

This and previous studies have shown that Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) alone and maternal obesity/overweight are associated with alterations in the newborn gut microbiota. In this study, there were significant alterations in the newborn gut microbiota species at 2 weeks of age.

The gut microbiome in the newborn affects metabolism, maturation of the gastrointestinal tract, function of the immune system and brain development. Initial seeding of the neonatal microbiota occurs through maternal and environmental contact. Nutrients regulate the initial perinatal microbial colonization and nutritional stresses can alter both the initial colonizing bacteria and the development of signaling pathways controlled by microbial mediators. These stresses fine-tune the immune system and metabolic homeostasis in early life, potentially setting the stage for long-term metabolic and immune related health conditions (such as adiposity, type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver). GDM and maternal obesity/overweight are known risk factors for the later development of obesity, type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

It would be interesting to follow these newborns in the long-term for risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes as well as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, while monitoring the changes in the gut microbiota. Dynamic changes in the gut microbiota have already been reported in infants at high risk of developing type 1 diabetes, prior to disease onset (1). Thus, understanding how changes in gut microbiota interact with the host components to drive changes in the infant’s immune system will provide insights into the disease pathways involving GDM and obesity as well as type 2 diabetes in the offspring.

Reference: 1. Kostic AD, Gevers D, Siljander H, Vatanen T, Hyötyläinen T, Hämäläinen AM, Peet A, Tillmann V, Pöhö P, Mattila I, Lähdesmäki H, Franzosa EA, Vaarala O, de Goffau M, Harmsen H, Ilonen J, Virtanen SM, Clish CB, Orešič M, Huttenhower C, Knip M; DIABIMMUNE Study Group, Xavier RJ. The dynamics of the human infant gut microbiome in development and in progression toward type 1 diabetes. Cell Host Microbe. 2015 Feb 11;17(2):260-73.

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