Gut microbes and metabolic disorders

​​​​Description of research

We have combined data from human diets, gut microbiota composition, and in vitro studies to identify dietary compounds that may affect the abundance of the harmful and beneficial microbes, and now we will:  

  1. apply the knowledge to treat MD in animal models by targeting the abundance of harmful and therapeutic microbes by specific diets;
  2. thoroughly elucidate the underlying pathologic and preventive mechanisms at organism and molecular levels using animal models, and finally;
  3. study the effects of the diets on MD risk factors in humans.

Members of the research group

Postdoc Eveliina Munukka
Postdoc Sanna Lensu
PhD student Anniina Rintala

Selected publications

Munukka E, Rintala A, Toivonen R, Nylund M, Baoru Y, Takanen A, Hänninen A, Vuopio J, Huovinen P, Jalkanen S, and Pekkala S. ”Faecalibacterium prausnitzii Treatment Improves Hepatic Health and Decreases Adipose Tissue Inflammation in High Fat-Fed Mice”. ISME J. 2017. Apr 4. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2017.24
Munukka E, Wiklund P, Partanen T, Välimäki S, Laakkonen EK, Lehti M, Fischer-Posovzsky P, Wabitsch M, Cheng S, Huovinen P, and Pekkala S. “Adipocytes as a Link Between Gut Microbiota-Derived Flagellin and Hepatocyte Fat Accumulation”. PLoS One. 2016. 11(4):e0152786.

Pekkala S, Munukka E, Kong L, Pöllänen E, Autio R, Roos C, Wiklund P, Fisher-Posovzky P, Wabitch M, Alen M, Huovinen P, and Sulin Cheng. ”Toll-like Receptor 5 in Obesity - the Role of Gut Microbiota and Adipose Tissue Inflammation”. Obesity. 2015. 23: 581-590.
Munukka E, Pekkala S, Wiklund P, Rasool O, Borra R, Kong L, Ojanen X, Cheng SM, Roos C, Tuomela S, Alen M, Lahesmaa R, and Cheng S. 2014 “Gut-adipose Tissue Axis in Hepatic Fat Accumulation in Humans. Journal of Hepatology. 2014. 61: 132-138.
Pekkala S, Wiklund P, Hulmi JJ, Ahtiainen JP, Horttanainen M, Pöllänen E, Mäkelä K, Kainulainen H, Alén M, Herzig KH, and Cheng S. ”Are FNDC5 Gene Expression and Irisin Release Regulated by Exercise and Related to Health?” Journal of Physiology. 2013. 591(Pt 21): 5393-5400. 



 PhD Satu Pekkala