Accumulating evidence has suggested the importance of gut microbiota in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In the present study, 40 patients with T2DM were treated with liraglutide for 4 months. Feces samples and clinical characteristics were collected from these 40 T2DM patients before and after the liraglutide treatment. The diversity and composition of gut microbiota in the two groups were determined by sequencing the V4 region of bacterial 16S rRNA genes. Meanwhile, blood glucose, insulin, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and lipid metabolism were also measured in the pre- and post-liraglutide-treatment groups. We find that Baseline HbA1c was associated with liraglutide treatment response ( = 0.527,  =  – 0.726,  < 0.0001). After adjusted for baseline HbA1c, blood urea nitrogen was associated with liraglutide treatment response. Besides, our results showed reduced gut microbial alpha diversity, different community structure distribution and altered microbial interaction network in patients treated with liraglutide. The liner discriminant analysis (LDA) effect size (LEfSe) analysis showed that 21 species of bacteria were abundant in the pre-liraglutide-treatment group and 15 species were abundant in the post-liraglutide-treatment group. In addition, we also find that were significantly correlated with older age, diabetes duration and diabetic retinopathy, were significantly correlated with family history of diabetes and were significantly correlated with both diabetic retinopathy and diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Functional analysis based on Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and cluster of orthologous groups (COG) annotations enriched three KEGG metabolic pathways and six functional COG categories in the post-liraglutide-treatment group. In conclusion, our research suggests that baseline HbA1c, blood urea nitrogen and gut microbiota are associated with the liraglutide treatment applied on patients with T2DM. These findings may contribute to the beneficial effects of liraglutide against diabetes.
©2021 Shang et al.