Beneficial metabolic effects of PAHSAs depend on the gut microbiota in diet-induced obese mice

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Beneficial metabolic effects of PAHSAs depend on the gut microbiota in diet-induced obese mice


Lee, J.; Wellenstein, K.; Rahnavard, A.; Nelson, A. T.; Holter, M.; Cummings, B. P.; Yeliseyev, V.; Castoldi, A.; Clish, C. B.; Bry, L.; Siegel, D.; Kahn, B. B.


Dietary lipids play an essential role in regulating the function of the gut microbiota and gastrointestinal tract, and these luminal interactions contribute to mediating host metabolism. PAHSAs are a class of lipids with anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties, but whether the gut microbiome contributes to their beneficial effects on host metabolism is unknown. Here, we report that treating high fat diet (HFD)-fed germ-free mice with PAHSAs does not improve insulin sensitivity. However, transfer of feces from PAHSA-treated, but not Vehicle-treated, chow-fed mice increases insulin-sensitivity in HFD-fed germ free mice. Thus, the gut microbiota is necessary for and can transmit the insulin-sensitizing effects of PAHSAs in HFD-fed germ-free mice. Functional analyses of the cecal metagenome and lipidome of PAHSA-treated mice identified multiple lipid species that associate with the gut commensal Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron (Bt) and with insulin sensitivity resulting from PAHSA treatment. Bt supplementation in HFD-fed female mice prevented weight gain, reduced adiposity, improved glucose tolerance, fortified the colonic mucus barrier and reduced systemic inflammation versus chow-fed controls, effects that were not observed in HFD-fed male mice. Furthermore, ovariectomy partially reversed the beneficial Bt effects on host metabolism, indicating a role for sex hormones in mediating probiotic effects. Altogether, these studies highlight the fact that lipids can modulate the gut microbiota resulting in improvement in host metabolism and that PAHSA-induced changes in the microbiota result in at least some of their insulin-sensitizing effects in female mice.

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