Animal Study Shows Gastric Bypass Surgery May Reverse Diabetes Interview with:
Xiang Gao, PhD
State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and MOE Key Laboratory of Model Animal for Disease Study
Model Animal Research Center
Nanjing Biomedical Research Institute and the Collaborative Innovation Center of Genetics and Development
Nanjing University What is the background for this study?

Response: Duodenum-jejunum gastric bypass (DJB) surgery has been used to treat morbid diabetic patients. However, neither the suitability among patients nor the mechanisms of this surgical treatment is well understood. Our research is based on a new mouse strain named Timo as type 2 diabetes model caused by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) deficiency. We hope to figure out whether DJB surgery can reverse the metabolic defects in this type of diabetes. If yes, what is the possible mechanisms. What are the main findings?

Response: Our research showed that duodenum-jejunum gastric bypass surgery could cure diabetes of genetic (mutation) origin. We also showed that the alteration of gut microflora abundance and improved metabolism preceded the inflammation alleviation and BDNF protein levels increase after DJB surgery. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The inflammation decrease and BDNF protein increase are the result of microbiota alteration. Microbiota alteration may be the primary factor for metabolism improvements. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Our results revealed the role of inflammation and microbiota in the effects of duodenum-jejunum gastric bypass surgery, and these data indicated that suppressed inflammation is the result, not the cause. More mechanistic studies are needed to explain how different families of microbiota regulate nutrient metabolism in the host. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Although the DJB surgery doesn’t affect the mRNA levels of BDNF, it up-regulates the protein levels of BDNF in hippocampus and hypothalamus. It will be interesting to study how to regulate the central neuron system via DJB surgery. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Shujun Jiang, Qinghua Wang, Zan Huang, Anying Song, Yu Peng, Siyuan Hou, Shiying Guo, Weiyun Zhu, Sheng Yan, Zhaoyu Lin, Xiang Gao. Gastric Bypass Surgery Reverses Diabetic Phenotypes in Bdnf-Deficient Mice. The American Journal of Pathology, 2016; DOI:10.1016/j.ajpath.2016.04.009

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on July 15, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD