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      The gut microbiota as an environmental factor that regulates fat storage.

      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

      Lipoprotein Lipase, Animals, etiology, Germ-Free Life, antagonists & inhibitors, Digestive System, Humans, anatomy & histology, Energy Metabolism, Models, Biological, Adipose Tissue, Mice, Knockout, Triglycerides, Adipocytes, physiology, Molecular Sequence Data, Dietary Fats, biosynthesis, Male, Obesity, Blood Proteins, metabolism, Angiopoietins, Mice, genetics, deficiency, Liver, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Insulin Resistance, microbiology

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          Abstract

          New therapeutic targets for noncognitive reductions in energy intake, absorption, or storage are crucial given the worldwide epidemic of obesity. The gut microbial community (microbiota) is essential for processing dietary polysaccharides. We found that conventionalization of adult germ-free (GF) C57BL/6 mice with a normal microbiota harvested from the distal intestine (cecum) of conventionally raised animals produces a 60% increase in body fat content and insulin resistance within 14 days despite reduced food intake. Studies of GF and conventionalized mice revealed that the microbiota promotes absorption of monosaccharides from the gut lumen, with resulting induction of de novo hepatic lipogenesis. Fasting-induced adipocyte factor (Fiaf), a member of the angiopoietin-like family of proteins, is selectively suppressed in the intestinal epithelium of normal mice by conventionalization. Analysis of GF and conventionalized, normal and Fiaf knockout mice established that Fiaf is a circulating lipoprotein lipase inhibitor and that its suppression is essential for the microbiota-induced deposition of triglycerides in adipocytes. Studies of Rag1-/- animals indicate that these host responses do not require mature lymphocytes. Our findings suggest that the gut microbiota is an important environmental factor that affects energy harvest from the diet and energy storage in the host. Data deposition: The sequences reported in this paper have been deposited in the GenBank database (accession nos. AY 667702--AY 668946).

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          Most cited references 22

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          Developmental regulation of intestinal angiogenesis by indigenous microbes via Paneth cells.

          The adult mouse intestine contains an intricate vascular network. The factors that control development of this network are poorly understood. Quantitative three-dimensional imaging studies revealed that a plexus of branched interconnected vessels developed in small intestinal villi during the period of postnatal development that coincides with assembly of a complex society of indigenous gut microorganisms (microbiota). To investigate the impact of this environmental transition on vascular development, we compared the capillary networks of germ-free mice with those of ex-germ-free animals colonized during or after completion of postnatal gut development. Adult germ-free mice had arrested capillary network formation. The developmental program can be restarted and completed within 10 days after colonization with a complete microbiota harvested from conventionally raised mice, or with Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, a prominent inhabitant of the normal mouse/human gut. Paneth cells in the intestinal epithelium secrete antibacterial peptides that affect luminal microbial ecology. Comparisons of germ-free and B. thetaiotaomicron-colonized transgenic mice lacking Paneth cells established that microbial regulation of angiogenesis depends on this lineage. These findings reveal a previously unappreciated mechanism of postnatal animal development, where microbes colonizing a mucosal surface are assigned responsibility for regulating elaboration of the underlying microvasculature by signaling through a bacteria-sensing epithelial cell.
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            Targeted disruption of the alpha isoform of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gene in mice results in abolishment of the pleiotropic effects of peroxisome proliferators.

            To gain insight into the function of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) isoforms in rodents, we disrupted the ligand-binding domain of the alpha isoform of mouse PPAR (mPPAR alpha) by homologous recombination. Mice homozygous for the mutation lack expression of mPPAR alpha protein and yet are viable and fertile and exhibit no detectable gross phenotypic defects. Remarkably, these animals do not display the peroxisome proliferator pleiotropic response when challenged with the classical peroxisome proliferators, clofibrate and Wy-14,643. Following exposure to these chemicals, hepatomegaly, peroxisome proliferation, and transcriptional-activation of target genes were not observed. These results clearly demonstrate that mPPAR alpha is the major isoform required for mediating the pleiotropic response resulting from the actions of peroxisome proliferators. mPPAR alpha-deficient animals should prove useful to further investigate the role of this receptor in hepatocarcinogenesis, fatty acid metabolism, and cell cycle regulation.
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              Gnotobiotic zebrafish reveal evolutionarily conserved responses to the gut microbiota.

              Animals have developed the means for supporting complex and dynamic consortia of microorganisms during their life cycle. A transcendent view of vertebrate biology therefore requires an understanding of the contributions of these indigenous microbial communities to host development and adult physiology. These contributions are most obvious in the gut, where studies of gnotobiotic mice have disclosed that the microbiota affects a wide range of biological processes, including nutrient processing and absorption, development of the mucosal immune system, angiogenesis, and epithelial renewal. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) provides an opportunity to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying these interactions through genetic and chemical screens that take advantage of its transparency during larval and juvenile stages. Therefore, we developed methods for producing and rearing germ-free zebrafish through late juvenile stages. DNA microarray comparisons of gene expression in the digestive tracts of 6 days post fertilization germ-free, conventionalized, and conventionally raised zebrafish revealed 212 genes regulated by the microbiota, and 59 responses that are conserved in the mouse intestine, including those involved in stimulation of epithelial proliferation, promotion of nutrient metabolism, and innate immune responses. The microbial ecology of the digestive tracts of conventionally raised and conventionalized zebrafish was characterized by sequencing libraries of bacterial 16S rDNA amplicons. Colonization of germ-free zebrafish with individual members of its microbiota revealed the bacterial species specificity of selected host responses. Together, these studies establish gnotobiotic zebrafish as a useful model for dissecting the molecular foundations of host-microbial interactions in the vertebrate digestive tract.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                15505215
                524219
                10.1073/pnas.0407076101

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