Bacteroides uniformis combined with fiber amplifies metabolic and immune benefits in obese mice

Gut Microbes. 2021 Jan-Dec;13(1):1-20. doi: 10.1080/19490976.2020.1865706.


Gut microbiota represents a therapeutic target for obesity. We hypothesize that B. uniformis CECT 7771 combined with wheat bran extract (WBE), its preferred carbon source, may exert superior anti-obesity effects. We performed a 17-week intervention in diet-induced obese mice receiving either B. uniformis, WBE, or their combination to identify interactions and independent actions on metabolism and immunity. B. uniformis combined with WBE was the most effective intervention, curbing weight gain and adiposity, while exerting more modest effects separately. The combination restored insulin-dependent metabolic routes in fat and liver, although the bacterium was the primary driver for improving whole-body glucose disposal. Moreover, B. uniformis-combined with WBE caused the highest increases in butyrate and restored the proportion of induced intraepithelial lymphocytes and type-3 innate lymphoid cells in the intestinal epithelium. Thus, strengthening the first line of immune defense against unhealthy diets and associated dysbiosis in the intestine. This intervention also attenuated the altered IL22 signaling and liver inflammation. Our study shows opportunities for employing B. uniformis, combined with WBE, to aid in the treatment of obesity.

Keywords: Obesity; dietary fiber; innate lymphoid cells; intraepithelial lymphocytes; microbiota.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Bacteroides*
  • Cecum / metabolism
  • Cecum / microbiology
  • Diet, High-Fat / adverse effects
  • Dietary Fiber*
  • Epididymis / metabolism
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome
  • Inflammation
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Interleukins / metabolism
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Obesity / immunology
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Thermogenesis
  • Weight Gain


  • Dietary Fiber
  • Fatty Acids
  • Insulin
  • Interleukins
  • interleukin-22

Supplementary concepts

  • Bacteroides uniformis

Grants and funding

This work was supported by the European Commission [erasmus+]; Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades [FPI]; Seventh Framework Programme [613979].