Microbiota Regulate Intestinal Absorption and Metabolism of Fatty Acids in the Zebrafish

Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
Cell host & microbe (Impact Factor: 12.33). 09/2012; 12(3):277-88. DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2012.08.003
Source: PubMed


Regulation of intestinal dietary fat absorption is critical to maintaining energy balance. While intestinal microbiota clearly impact the host's energy balance, their role in intestinal absorption and extraintestinal metabolism of dietary fat is less clear. Using in vivo imaging of fluorescent fatty acid (FA) analogs delivered to gnotobiotic zebrafish hosts, we reveal that microbiota stimulate FA uptake and lipid droplet (LD) formation in the intestinal epithelium and liver. Microbiota increase epithelial LD number in a diet-dependent manner. The presence of food led to the intestinal enrichment of bacteria from the phylum Firmicutes. Diet-enriched Firmicutes and their products were sufficient to increase epithelial LD number, whereas LD size was increased by other bacterial types. Thus, different members of the intestinal microbiota promote FA absorption via distinct mechanisms. Diet-induced alterations in microbiota composition might influence fat absorption, providing mechanistic insight into how microbiota-diet interactions regulate host energy balance.

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Available from: Steven A Farber, Dec 19, 2013
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    • "The resulting associations between animals and microbes profoundly influence the maturation of their tissues and the function of adult organs. In particular, the development of the vertebrate digestive tract, which harbors the vast majority of microbial cells in the body, is strongly influenced by the presence and composition of the gut microbiota (Bates et al., 2006; Olszak et al., 2012; Semova et al., 2012; Sommer and Bäckhed, 2013). A comprehensive description of animal development must, therefore, include not only a catalog of the birth, specification and differentiation of the animal cells that comprise the body but also the associated microbial cells (McFall-Ngai et al., 2013). "
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    • "In mammals, the intestinal microbiota participates in lipid metabolism, including bile acid synthesis (Fukiya et al., 2009; Ridlon et al., 2006), energy homeostasis, lipid storage (Backhed et al., 2004), and choline bioavailability (Dumas et al., 2006). In zebrafish, the intestinal bacteria regulate the intestinal absorption and metabolism of fatty acids, and bacteria have different effects on lipid droplet formation (Semova et al., 2012). Past studies have suggested that the intestinal microbiota is crucial in lipid metabolism and that high energy diets can affect the intestinal bacterial biodiversity and composition (Daniel et al., 2014; Turnbaugh et al., 2008). "
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