Food Science and Technology Department


Date of this Version



Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015 August ; 59(8): pp. 1603–1613. doi:10.1002/mnfr.201500014.


Copyright 2015 John Wiley & Sons. Used by permission.


Scope—The gut microbiota is able to modulate host physiology through the production of bioactive metabolites. Our recent studies suggest that changes in gut microbiota composition upon prebiotics supplementation alter tissue levels of PUFA-derived metabolites in mice. However, in vivo evidence that gut microbes produces PUFA-derived metabolites is lacking. This study aimed to decipher the contribution of gut microbes versus that of the host in PUFA-derived metabolite production.

Methods and results—To achieve this goal, we compared the proportion of PUFA-derived metabolites and the expression of fatty acid desaturases in germ-free (GF) and conventionalized (CONV) mice fed either a low fat or Western diet. Higher concentrations of PUFA-derived metabolites were found in the colonic contents of CONV mice compared to GF mice. The abundance of these metabolites in host tissues was modulated by dietary treatments but not by microbial status. Although microbial status did significantly influence desaturase expression, no correlations between host enzymes and tissue PUFA-derived metabolite levels were observed.

Conclusion—Together, these results highlight the ability of the gut microbiota to produce PUFA-derived metabolites from dietary PUFA. However, microbial production of these

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