Accumulating evidence points to Akkermansia muciniphila as a novel candidate to prevent or treat obesity-related metabolic disorders. We recently observed, in mice and in humans, that pasteurization of A. muciniphila increases its beneficial effects on metabolism. However, it is currently unknown if the observed beneficial effects on body weight and fat mass gain are due to specific changes in energy expenditure. Therefore, we investigated the effects of pasteurized A. muciniphila on whole-body energy metabolism during high-fat diet feeding by using metabolic chambers. We confirmed that daily oral administration of pasteurized A. muciniphila alleviated diet-induced obesity and decreased food energy efficiency. We found that this effect was associated with an increase in energy expenditure and spontaneous physical activity. Strikingly, we discovered that energy expenditure was enhanced independently from changes in markers of thermogenesis or beiging of the white adipose tissue. However, we found in brown and white adipose tissues that perilipin2, a factor associated with lipid droplet and known to be altered in obesity, was decreased in expression by pasteurized A. muciniphila. Finally, we observed that treatment with pasteurized A. muciniphila increased energy excretion in the feces. Interestingly, we demonstrated that this effect was not due to the modulation of intestinal lipid absorption or chylomicron synthesis but likely involved a reduction of carbohydrates absorption and enhanced intestinal epithelial turnover. In conclusion, this study further dissects the mechanisms by which pasteurized A. muciniphila reduces body weight and fat mass gain. These data also further support the impact of targeting the gut microbiota by using specific bacteria to control whole-body energy metabolism.
Keywords: Akkermansia muciniphila; brown adipose tissue metabolism; carbohydrates absorption; indirect calorimetry; intestinal turnover; mice; motor activity; obesity; pasteurization; perilipins; white adipose tissue metabolism.