Beneficial metabolic effects of PAHSAs depend on the gut microbiota in diet-induced obese mice.
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 microbiota 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 ( ) and with insulin sensitivity resulting from PAHSA treatment. 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 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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