PloS one 2018 02 1513(2) e0192747 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0192747
Recent data comparing germ-free to conventionally-raised mice demonstrated that energy homeostasis of colonocytes is dependent on gut microbiota through regulation of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) production and glucose utilization. We sought to evaluate 18F-FDG PET-CT as a novel technique for functional imaging of alterations in glucose metabolism as a result of the interaction between the gut microbiota and the human host. We conducted a prospective study in healthy humans that underwent 18F-FDG PET-CT and sampling of the gut microbiota before and after orally administered broad-spectrum antibiotics. The primary outcomes were total and regional physiologic colonic 18F-FDG uptake (measured as the mean and max standardized uptake values [SUVmean and SUVmax]). The study demonstrated significant increases in physiologic colonic 18F-FDG uptake in all study participants following antibiotic treatment and a 4-5log reduction of gut bacterial load. The mean increase in SUVmax was 0.63±0.37 SD (p = 0.004) and the median increase was 0.42 with an IQR of 0.40-0.81. The mean increase in SUVmean was 0.31±0.24 SD (p = 0.01) and the median increase was 0.41 with an IQR of 0.06-0.55. A likely explanation for this phenomenon is a shift in colonocyte metabolism to glycolysis due to a shortage of SCFA.