Laure Bindels’ team (Metabolism and Nutrition research group) is particularly interested in cancer cachexia, a multifactorial syndrome responsible for weight loss and poor response to anti-cancer treatment among cancer patients. This syndrome is characterised by multiple metabolic dysfunctions. The liver and the gut microbiota, two key metabolic regulators, may contribute to this syndrome, though they are still often overlooked. To get a better understanding of the host-microbiota crosstalk in this context, her team performed multi-compartmental 1H-NMR metabolomics using a 600 MHz spectrometer available at the NEST platform and combined these results with the characterization of the gut microbiota in a mouse model of cancer cachexia.
The results of this study have been recently published in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle. In this article, Sarah Pötgens and colleagues show that cachectic mice are characterized by important hepatic and intestinal alterations. Among the most important findings, the team pinpoints new potential pathways contributing to hepatic steatosis in cachectic mice, a reduced production of important bacterial metabolites (i.e. short chain fatty acids and aromatic amino acid metabolites) and an acceleration of the intestinal transit as a key factor shaping the gut microbiota composition and activity. This work strengthens the interest of studying the liver and the gut microbiota composition and activity in the context of cancer cachexia.
This research was funded mainly by the Télévie, the FSR and the Fondation Louvain, as well as the Young Pharmabiotics Award granted to Laure Bindels.