Effects of Obesity and Gastric Bypass Surgery on Nutrient Sensors, Endocrine Cells, and Mucosal Innervation of the Mouse Colon

Nutrients. 2018 Oct 17;10(10):1529. doi: 10.3390/nu10101529.


Background: Nutrient-sensing receptors located on enteroendocrine (EEC) cells modulate appetite via detection of luminal contents. Colonic 'tasting' of luminal contents may influence changes to appetite observed in obesity and after weight loss induced by bariatric surgery. We assessed the effects of obesity and gastric bypass-induced weight loss on expression of nutrient-sensing G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), EEC and enterochromaffin (EC) cells and mucosal innervation.

Methods: qPCR and immunohistochemistry were used to study colonic tissue from (a) chow-fed/lean, (b) high-fat fed/obese, (c) Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB), and (d) calorie restriction-induced weight loss mice.

Results: Expression of GPR41, GPR43, GPR40, GPR120, GPR84, GPR119, GPR93 and T1R3 was increased in obese mice. Obesity-induced overexpression of GPR41, 40, 84, and 119 further increased after RYGB whereas GPR120 and T1R3 decreased. RYGB increased TGR5 expression. L-cells, but not EC cells, were increased after RYGB. No differences in mucosal innervation by protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 and GLP-1R-positive nerve fibers were observed. Stimulation of colonic mucosa with GPR41, GPR40, GPR85, GPR119, and TGR5 agonists increased cell activation marker expression.

Conclusions: Several nutrient-sensing receptors induced activation of colonic EEC. Profound adaptive changes to the expression of these receptors occur in response to diet and weight loss induced by RYGB or calorie restriction.

Keywords: Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB); appetite regulation; enteroendocrine cells (EECs); weight loss.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Chemoreceptor Cells / metabolism
  • Colon* / cytology
  • Colon* / innervation
  • Colon* / metabolism
  • Diet, Reducing
  • Enteric Nervous System / physiopathology*
  • Enterochromaffin Cells / metabolism*
  • Gastric Bypass
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa* / cytology
  • Intestinal Mucosa* / innervation
  • Intestinal Mucosa* / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Obesity / diet therapy
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Obesity / physiopathology
  • Obesity / surgery*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase / metabolism
  • Weight Loss / physiology*


  • Glp1r protein, mouse
  • Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 Receptor
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase
  • Uchl1 protein, mouse