Sleeve gastrectomy enhances glucose utilization and remodels adipose tissue independent of weight loss

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2020 May 1;318(5):E678-E688. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00441.2019. Epub 2020 Feb 18.


Sleeve gastrectomy (SG) induces weight loss-independent improvements in glucose homeostasis by unknown mechanisms. We sought to identify the metabolic adaptations responsible for these improvements. Nonobese C57BL/6J mice on standard chow underwent SG or sham surgery. Functional testing and indirect calorimetry were used to capture metabolic phenotypes. Tissue-specific glucose uptake was assessed by 18-fluorodeoxyglucose (18-FDG) PET/computed tomography, and RNA sequencing was used for gene-expression analysis. In this model, SG induced durable improvements in glucose tolerance in the absence of changes in weight, body composition, or food intake. Indirect calorimetry revealed that SG increased the average respiratory exchange ratio toward 1.0, indicating a weight-independent, systemic shift to carbohydrate utilization. Following SG, orally administered 18-FDG preferentially localized to white adipose depots, showing tissue-specific increases in glucose utilization induced by surgery. Transcriptional analysis with RNA sequencing demonstrated that increased glucose uptake in the visceral adipose tissue was associated with upregulation in transcriptional pathways involved in energy metabolism, adipocyte maturation, and adaptive and innate immune cell chemotaxis and differentiation. SG induces a rapid, weight loss-independent shift toward glucose utilization and transcriptional remodeling of metabolic and immune pathways in visceral adipose tissue. Continued study of this early post-SG physiology may lead to a better understanding of the anti-diabetic mechanisms of bariatric surgery.

Keywords: diabetes; glucose utilization; immunometabolism; respiratory exchange ratio; sleeve gastrectomy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Calorimetry, Indirect
  • Eating / physiology
  • Gastrectomy*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Homeostasis / physiology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal
  • Weight Loss / physiology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glucose

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.9956579