Relation between colonic proglucagon expression and metabolic response to oligofructose in high fat diet-fed mice

Life Sci. 2006 Aug 1;79(10):1007-13. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2006.05.013. Epub 2006 May 20.


Several data suggest that fermentable dietary fiber could play a role in the control of obesity and associated metabolic disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the putative role of short chain fructo-oligosaccharide (OFS) - a non-digestible oligosaccharide - in mice fed a standard diet and in mice fed two distinct high fat diets inducing metabolic disorders associated to obesity. We confirmed, in mice, several effects previously shown in rats fed a standard diet enriched with OFS, namely an increase in total and empty caecum weight, a significant decrease in epididymal fat mass, and an increase in colonic and portal plasma glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a phenomenon positively correlated with a higher colonic proglucagon mRNA level. Curiously, 4-week treatment with OFS added at the same dose induced different effects when added in the two different high fat diets. OFS decreased energy intake, body weight gain, glycemia, and epididymal fat mass only when added together with the high fat-carbohydrate free diet, in which OFS promoted colonic proglucagon expression and insulin secretion. Our results support an association between the increase in proglucagon expression in the proximal colon and OFS effects on glycemia, fat mass development, and/or body weight gain. In conclusion, dietary oligosaccharides would constitute an interesting class of dietary fibers promoting, in certain conditions, endogenous GLP-1 production, with beneficial physiological consequences. This remains to be proven in human studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Colon / drug effects
  • Colon / metabolism*
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism
  • Insulin / blood
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Oligosaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Proglucagon / genetics
  • Proglucagon / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism


  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Fats
  • Insulin
  • Oligosaccharides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • oligofructose
  • Proglucagon