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Systemic characterization of an obese phenotype in the Zucker rat model defining metabolic axes of energy metabolism and host-microbial interactions

Phetcharaburanin, Jutarop, Lees, Hannah, Marchesi, Julian Roberto, Nicholson, Jeremy K., Holmes, Elaine, Seyfried, Florian and Li, Jia V. 2016. Systemic characterization of an obese phenotype in the Zucker rat model defining metabolic axes of energy metabolism and host-microbial interactions. Journal of Proteome Research 15 (6) , pp. 1897-1906. 10.1021/acs.jproteome.6b00090

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The Zucker (fa/fa) rat is a valuable and extensively utilized model for obesity research. However, the metabolic networks underlying the systemic response in the obese Zucker rats remain to be elucidated. This information is important to further our understanding of the circulation of the microbial or host–microbial metabolites and their impact on host metabolism. 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy-based metabolic profiling was used to probe global metabolic differences in portal vein and peripheral blood plasma, urine and fecal water between obese (fa/fa, n = 12) and lean (fa/+, n = 12) Zucker rats. Urinary concentrations of host–microbial co-metabolites were found to be significantly higher in lean Zucker rats. Higher concentrations of fecal lactate, short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), 3-hydroxyphenyl propionic acid and glycerol, and lower levels of valine and glycine were observed in obese rats compared with lean animals. Regardless of phenotype, concentrations of SCFAs, tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates, and choline metabolites were higher in portal vein blood compared to peripheral blood. However, higher levels of succinate, phenylalanine and tyrosine were observed in portal vein blood compared with peripheral blood from lean rats but not in obese rats. Our findings indicate that the absorption of propionate, acetate, choline, and trimethylamine is independent of the Zucker rat phenotypes. However, urinary host–microbial co-metabolites were highly associated with phenotypes, suggesting distinct gut microbial metabolic activities in lean and obese Zucker rats. This work advances our understanding of metabolic processes associated with obesity, particularly the metabolic functionality of the gut microbiota in the context of obesity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Publisher: American Chemical Society
ISSN: 1535-3893
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2019 12:55

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