Improved glucose control and reduced body fat mass in free fatty acid receptor 2-deficient mice fed a high-fat diet

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jan;300(1):E211-20. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00229.2010. Epub 2010 Oct 19.


Free fatty acid receptor 2 (Ffar2), also known as GPR43, is activated by short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) and expressed in intestine, adipocytes, and immune cells, suggesting involvement in lipid and immune regulation. In the present study, Ffar2-deficient mice (Ffar2-KO) were given a high-fat diet (HFD) or chow diet and studied with respect to lipid and energy metabolism. On a HFD, Ffar2-KO mice had lower body fat mass and increased lean body mass. The changed body composition was accompanied by improved glucose control and lower HOMA index, indicating improved insulin sensitivity in Ffar2-KO mice. Moreover, the Ffar2-KO mice had higher energy expenditure accompanied by higher core body temperature and increased food intake. The liver weight and content of triglycerides as well as plasma levels of cholesterol were lower in the Ffar2-KO mice fed a HFD. A histological examination unveiled decreased lipid interspersed in brown adipose tissue of the Ffar2-KO mice. Interestingly, no significant differences in white adipose tissue (WAT) cell size were observed, but significantly lower macrophage content was detected in WAT from HFD-fed Ffar2-KO compared with wild-type mice. In conclusion, Ffar2 deficiency protects from HFD-induced obesity and dyslipidemia at least partly via increased energy expenditure.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue, Brown / pathology
  • Adipose Tissue, White / pathology
  • Animals
  • Body Composition
  • Body Temperature Regulation
  • Diet
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dyslipidemias / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / prevention & control
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Fatty Liver / metabolism
  • Fatty Liver / prevention & control
  • Homeostasis
  • Hyperglycemia / prevention & control*
  • Hypoglycemia / prevention & control*
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, 129 Strain
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / genetics
  • Obesity / pathology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / physiology*


  • Dietary Fats
  • Ffar2 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled