Altered Microbiota Contributes to Reduced Diet-Induced Obesity upon Cold Exposure

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Marika Ziętak, Petia Kovatcheva-Datchary, Lidia H Markiewicz, Marcus Ståhlman, Leslie P Kozak, Gert Fredrik Bäckhed

Maintenance of body temperature in cold-exposed animals requires induction of thermogenesis and management of fuel. Here, we demonstrated that reducing ambient temperature attenuated diet-induced obesity (DIO), which was associated with increased iBAT thermogenesis and a plasma bile acid profile similar to that of germ-free mice. We observed a marked shift in the microbiome composition at the phylum and family levels within 1 day of acute cold exposure and after 4 weeks at 12°C. Gut microbiota was characterized by increased levels of Adlercreutzia, Mogibacteriaceae, Ruminococcaceae, and Desulfovibrio and reduced levels of Bacilli, Erysipelotrichaceae, and the genus rc4-4. These genera have been associated with leanness and obesity, respectively. Germ-free mice fed a high-fat diet at room temperature gained less adiposity and improved glucose tolerance when transplanted with caecal microbiota of mice housed at 12°C compared to mice transplanted with microbiota from 29°C. Thus, a microbiota-liver-BAT axis may mediate protection against obesity at reduced temperature.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCell Metabolism
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1216-23
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2016

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 166691525