2014 Volume 35 Issue 5 Pages 303-310
The intestinal microbiome might be an important contributor to the development of type 2 diabetes. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that oral administration of Bifidobacterium species (spp.) (including B. longum, B. bifidum, B. infantis, and B. animalis) may both ameliorate insulin resistance and reduce the expressions of inflammatory adipocytokines. Male Swiss-Webster mice fed a high-fat diet with or without oral administration of Bifidobacterium spp. for 5 weeks were subjected to an insulin tolerance test and an oral glucose tolerance test. Plasma levels of glucose at 30, 60, 90 and 120 min after insulin injection or glucose administration were significantly lower in the Bifidobacterium spp. than in the control group (P < 0.05), showing the beneficial effect of oral administration on insulin resistance in obese Swiss mice. In addition, Bifidobacterium spp. increased the adiponectin mRNA level and decreased those of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 and interleukin 6 in non-diabetic C57BL/6J mice fed a normal diet, indicating a molecular mechanism which may ameliorate the inflammatory state, thereby reducing insulin resistance. In conclusion, oral administration of Bifidobacterium spp. improves insulin resistance and glucose tolerance in obese mice by reducing inflammation, as it does in the lean state.