High Fat Diet Alters Gut Microbiota and the Expression of Paneth Cell-Antimicrobial Peptides Preceding Changes of Circulating Inflammatory Cytokines

Mediators Inflamm. 2017;2017:9474896. doi: 10.1155/2017/9474896. Epub 2017 Feb 21.


Obesity is an established risk factor for many diseases including intestinal cancer. One of the responsible mechanisms is the chronic inflammation driven by obesity. However, it remains to be defined whether diet-induced obesity exacerbates the intestinal inflammatory status by cytokines produced in adipose tissue or the high fat diet first alters the gut microbiota and then drives intestinal inflammation. To address this question, we fed C57BL/6 mice with a high fat diet (HF, 60%) and sacrificed them sequentially after 8, 12, and 16 weeks, and then compositions of gut microbiota and expressions of antimicrobial peptides were determined. The compositions of gut microbiota were altered at 8 wk HF feeding, followed with reduced Paneth antimicrobial peptides lysozyme and Reg IIIγ after 12 and 16 wk HF feeding (p < 0.05), whereas elevations of circulating inflammatory cytokines IFNγ and TNF-α were observed until feeding a HF diet for 16 weeks (p < 0.05). These results indicated that high fat diet may stimulate intestinal inflammation via altering gut microbiota, and it occurs prior to the potential influence by circulating inflammatory cytokines. These findings emphasized the importance of microbiota, in addition to adipose tissue per se, in driving intestinal inflammation, which may thereafter promote intestinal tumorigenesis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / genetics
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Muramidase / genetics
  • Muramidase / metabolism
  • Obesity / immunology
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Paneth Cells / metabolism*
  • Peptides / genetics
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • Ribonuclease, Pancreatic / genetics
  • Ribonuclease, Pancreatic / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Peptides
  • Ang4 protein, mouse
  • Ribonuclease, Pancreatic
  • Muramidase