Research ArticleObesity

The gut microbiota regulates white adipose tissue inflammation and obesity via a family of microRNAs

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Science Translational Medicine  12 Jun 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 496, eaav1892
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aav1892

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A gut-fat axis

Whether and how the gut microbiome affects adipose tissue homeostasis is an area of current investigation. Virtue et al. showed that a high-fat diet in mice led to the activation of miR-181 in white adipose tissue (WAT) and subsequent obesity, insulin resistance, and WAT inflammation. The authors tied the increased expression of this microRNA to a reduction in circulating microbiota-derived metabolites produced by tryptophan metabolism in the gut and confirmed this link by administering indole to mice. miR-181 was increased in WAT and indole was reduced in the plasma of obese humans, suggesting the potential relevance of this axis to human disease.

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