Pasteurized Akkermansia muciniphila protects from fat mass gain but not from bone loss

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2020 Apr 1;318(4):E480-E491. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00425.2019. Epub 2020 Jan 21.


Probiotic bacteria can protect from ovariectomy (ovx)-induced bone loss in mice. Akkermansia muciniphila is considered to have probiotic potential due to its beneficial effect on obesity and insulin resistance. The purpose of the present study was to determine if treatment with pasteurized Akkermansia muciniphila (pAkk) could prevent ovx-induced bone loss. Mice were treated with vehicle or pAkk for 4 wk, starting 3 days before ovx or sham surgery. Treatment with pAkk reduced fat mass accumulation confirming earlier findings. However, treatment with pAkk decreased trabecular and cortical bone mass in femur and vertebra of gonadal intact mice and did not protect from ovx-induced bone loss. Treatment with pAkk increased serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels and increased expression of the calcium transporter Trpv5 in kidney suggesting increased reabsorption of calcium in the kidneys. Serum amyloid A 3 (SAA3) can suppress bone formation and mediate the effects of PTH on bone resorption and bone loss in mice and treatment with pAkk increased serum levels of SAA3 and gene expression of Saa3 in colon. Moreover, regulatory T cells can be protective of bone and pAkk-treated mice had decreased number of regulatory T cells in mesenteric lymph nodes and bone marrow. In conclusion, treatment with pAkk protected from ovx-induced fat mass gain but not from bone loss and reduced bone mass in gonadal intact mice. Our findings with pAkk differ from some probiotics that have been shown to protect bone mass, demonstrating that not all prebiotic and probiotic factors have the same effect on bone.

Keywords: Akkermansia; bone mass; gut microbiota; osteoporosis; probiotic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / growth & development*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Akkermansia
  • Animals
  • Calcium Channels / metabolism
  • Colon / drug effects
  • Colon / microbiology
  • Female
  • Femur / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Lymph Nodes / cytology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Osteoporosis / metabolism*
  • Ovariectomy
  • Parathyroid Hormone / metabolism
  • Pasteurization
  • Probiotics / pharmacology*
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein / metabolism
  • Spine / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory
  • TRPV Cation Channels / metabolism
  • Verrucomicrobia / metabolism*


  • Calcium Channels
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Saa3 protein, mouse
  • Serum Amyloid A Protein
  • TRPV Cation Channels
  • Trpv5 protein, mouse

Supplementary concepts

  • Akkermansia muciniphila