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Gut microbiome couples gut and brain during calorie restriction in treating obesity

By Qiang Zeng, Qi Wang, Tianyuan Xiang, Lei Ou, Xiaoling Wu, Kaiye Cai, Chunyu Geng, Mo Han, Zhongxia Li, Zhonglin Li, Wen Wang, Tingting Yang, Fengyun Li, Huimin Ma, Xiaojuan Zhao, Hui Gao, Na Mi, Chi Zhang, Li Tong, Linyuan Wang, Bin Yan, Ziya Yu, Canhui Lan, Ziyu Wang, Xiaoning Wang, Yongli Li, Jun Wang

Posted 05 Dec 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.12.04.406579

Calorie restriction (CR) has been widely recognized for its effect in reducing body weight and alleviating diabetes in humans, as well as prolonging life span in animal studies. Gut microbiome shifts contribute to part of the effects of CR, but little is known regarding their influences except on metabolism and immunity. Here we monitored gut microbiome using metagenomics and metatranscriptomics in obese individuals undergoing CR, and revealed microbial determinants that could contribute to successful weight loss. Microbiome changes are linked to changes in blood metabolome and hormones, which eventually correlate to brain functional changes as studied using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Brain functional shifts indicate response of central neural system (CNS) to CR, and microbiome constitutes the keystone of gut-brain axis. Animal experiment further reaffirms the gut microbiome changes, metabolic and hormonal shifts of CR, while proteomic analysis of brain tissues suggest that epigenetic modifications of key proteins could explain responses of CNS to CR. Our study establishes linkage between CR, gut microbiome, metabolome/ hormones and CNS function, and demonstrates that CR has multi-facet, coordinated effects on the host, of which many could contribute to weight loss and other beneficial effects.

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