Changes in gut microbiota control inflammation in obese mice through a mechanism involving GLP-2-driven improvement of gut permeability.
Obese and diabetic mice display enhanced intestinal permeability and metabolic endotoxaemia that participate in the occurrence of metabolic disorders. Our recent data support the idea that a selective increase of Bifidobacterium spp. reduces the impact of high-fat diet-induced metabolic endotoxaemia and inflammatory disorders. Here, we hypothesised that prebiotic modulation of gut microbiota lowers intestinal permeability, by a mechanism involving glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) thereby improving inflammation and metabolic disorders during obesity and diabetes. Study 1: ob/ob mice (Ob-CT) were treated with either prebiotic (Ob-Pre) or non-prebiotic carbohydrates as control (Ob-Cell). Study 2: Ob-CT and Ob-Pre mice were treated with GLP-2 antagonist or saline. Study 3: Ob-CT mice were treated with a GLP-2 agonist or saline. We assessed changes in the gut microbiota, intestinal permeability, gut peptides, intestinal epithelial tight-junction proteins ZO-1 and occludin (qPCR and immunohistochemistry), hepatic and systemic inflammation. Prebiotic-treated mice exhibited a lower plasma lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and cytokines, and a decreased hepatic expression of inflammatory and oxidative stress markers. This decreased inflammatory tone was associated with a lower intestinal permeability and improved tight-junction integrity compared to controls. Prebiotic increased the endogenous intestinotrophic proglucagon-derived peptide (GLP-2) production whereas the GLP-2 antagonist abolished most of the prebiotic effects. Finally, pharmacological GLP-2 treatment decreased gut permeability, systemic and hepatic inflammatory phenotype associated with obesity to a similar extent as that observed following prebiotic-induced changes in gut microbiota. We found that a selective gut microbiota change controls and increases endogenous GLP-2 production, and consequently improves gut barrier functions by a GLP-2-dependent mechanism, contributing to the improvement of gut barrier functions during obesity and diabetes.