Gut Microbial ecology and host metabolism

Group leader: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">Fredrik Bäckhed (Associate Professor, PhD)

Members: Ava Allahyar (PhD student), Carina Arvidsson (Research Assistant), Robert Caesar (Postdoctoral Fellow), Jenny Felin (Research Associate), Frida Fåk (Postdoctoral Fellow), Thomas Greiner (Postdoctoral Fellow), Anna Hallén (Research Assistant), Helene Kling (Postdoctoral Fellow), Gina Nyström (Research Assistant, Christoph Reinhardt (Postdoctoral Fellow), Valentina Tremaroli (Postdoctoral Fellow), Anita Wichmann (Postdoctoral Fellow) and Gunnel Östergren Lundén (Laboratory Manager).

We live in a microbial world: our adult intestine contains ~100 trillion microbes - a numberFB ten times greater than the number of human cells in our body. During my postdoctoral training with Jeffrey Gordon at Washington University in St Louis, we found that the gut microbiota provides us with physiological traits that we have not had to evolve on our own, including the ability to process otherwise indigestible dietary polysaccharides and subsequently promote storage of these ‘extra' calories in adipocytes. Interestingly, we also found that obesity alters the gut microbial composition. Thus the gut microbiota can be considered an environmental factor that regulates fat storage.

The Bäckhed group investigates the intricate interactions between the gut microbiota and the host mucosa with the overall aim to understand the molecular foundations how the gut microbiota is assembled and whether variations in the gut microbial ecology may affect host metabolism. We are especially interested in the interactions between the gut microbiota and the innate immune system.

Important publications:
Velagapudi VR, Hezaveh R, Reigstad C, Goplacharyulu P, Islam S, Yetukuri L, Felin J, Mattila I, Borén J, Orešič M, Bäckhed F
The gut microbiota modulates host energy and lipid metabolism in mice.
J. Lip. Res. In Press

Bäckhed F, Crawford P
Coordinated regulation of the metabolome and lipidome at the host-microbial interface.
BBA - Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids. 1801(3): 240-245 (2009)

Bäckhed F, Manchester J K, Semenkovich C F, Gordon J I
Mechanisms underlying the resistance to diet-induced obesity in germ-free mice.
Proceeding of National Academy of Sciences USA. 104: 979-984 (2007)

Ley RE, Bäckhed F, Turnbaugh P, Lozupone C, Knight R, Gordon JI
Obesity alters gut microbial ecology.
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102:11070-11075 (2005)

Bäckhed F, Ley RE, Sonnenburg JL, Peterson DA, Gordon JI
Host-bacterial mutualism in the human intestine.
Science 307:1915-1920 (2005)

Bäckhed F, Ding H, Wang T, Hooper LV, Koh GY, Nagy A, Semenkovich CF, Gordon JI
The gut microbiota as an environmental factor that regulates fat storage.
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101:15718-15723 (2004)