Effects of resveratrol on gut microbiota and fat storage in a mouse model with high-fat-induced obesity

Food Funct. 2014 Jun;5(6):1241-9. doi: 10.1039/c3fo60630a. Epub 2014 Apr 11.


Recent studies have investigated the anti-obesity effect of resveratrol, but the pathways through which resveratrol resists obesity are not clear. In the present study, we hypothesize that resveratrol exerts anti-obesity effects that are likely mediated by mechanisms of regulating gut microbes, and in turn, improving fat storage and metabolism. Gut microbes, glucose and lipid metabolism in high-fat diet (HF) mice in vivo are investigated after resveratrol treatment. Several biochemical markers are measured. Fluorescence in situ hybridization and flow cytometry are used to monitor and quantify the changes in gut microbiota. The key genes related to fat storage and metabolism in the liver and visceral adipose tissues are measured by real-time PCR. The results show that resveratrol (200 mg per kg per day) significantly lowers both body and visceral adipose weights, and reduces blood glucose and lipid levels in HF mice. Resveratrol improves the gut microbiota dysbiosis induced by the HF diet, including increasing the Bacteroidetes-to-Firmicutes ratios, significantly inhibiting the growth of Enterococcus faecalis, and increasing the growth of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Furthermore, resveratrol significantly increases the fasting-induced adipose factor (Fiaf, a key gene negatively regulated by intestinal microbes) expression in the intestine. Resveratrol significantly decreases mRNA expression of Lpl, Scd1, Ppar-γ, Acc1, and Fas related to fatty acids synthesis, adipogenesis and lipogenesis, which may be driven by increased Fiaf expression. The Pearson's correlation coefficient shows that there is a negative correlation between the body weight and the ratios of Bacteroidetes-to-Firmicutes. Therefore, resveratrol mediates the composition of gut microbes, and in turn, through the Fiaf signaling pathway, accelerates the development of obesity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase / genetics
  • Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase / metabolism
  • Adipose Tissue / drug effects
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Angiopoietin-Like Protein 4
  • Angiopoietins / genetics
  • Angiopoietins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Bifidobacterium / metabolism
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Enterococcus faecalis / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / drug effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism
  • Lipids / blood
  • Lipogenesis / drug effects
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Microbiota / drug effects*
  • Obesity / drug therapy*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • PPAR gamma / antagonists & inhibitors
  • PPAR gamma / genetics
  • PPAR gamma / metabolism
  • Resveratrol
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase / genetics
  • Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase / metabolism
  • Stilbenes / pharmacology*
  • fas Receptor / genetics
  • fas Receptor / metabolism


  • Angiopoietin-Like Protein 4
  • Angiopoietins
  • Angptl4 protein, mouse
  • Blood Glucose
  • Fas protein, mouse
  • Lipids
  • PPAR gamma
  • Stilbenes
  • fas Receptor
  • Scd1 protein, mouse
  • Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase
  • Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase
  • Resveratrol