Inulin-type fructans (ITF) are nondigestible/fermentable carbohydrates which are able - through the modification of the gut microbiota - to counteract high-fat (HF) diet-induced obesity, endotoxemia and related-metabolic alterations. However, their influence on adipose tissue metabolism has been poorly studied until now. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of ITF supplementation on adipose tissue metabolism, by focusing on a G protein-coupled receptor (GPR), GPR43, as a potential link between gut fermentation processes and white adipose tissue development. Male C57bl6/J mice were fed a standard diet or an HF diet without or with ITF (0.2 g/day per mouse) during 4 weeks. The HF diet induced an accumulation of large adipocytes, promoted peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARγ)-activated differentiation factors and led to a huge increase in GPR43 expression in the subcutaneous adipose tissue. All those effects were blunted by ITF treatment, which modulated the gut microbiota in favor of bifidobacteria at the expense of Roseburia spp. and of Clostridium cluster XIVa. The dietary modulation of GPR43 expression seems independent of endotoxemia, in view of data obtained in vivo (acute and chronic lipopolysaccharides treatment). In conclusion, ITF, which promote gut fermentation, paradoxically counteract GPR43 overexpression induced in the adipose tissue by an HF diet, a phenomenon that correlates with a beneficial effect on adiposity and with potential decrease in PPARγ-activated processes.
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