DOI: 10.3390/nu15173707 ISSN:

An Association between Decreased Small Intestinal RNA Modification and Disturbed Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Secretion under High-Fat Diet Stress

Jiang Chen, Lin-Ling Deng, Xing-Lin Xiao, Shi-Yuan Long, Yuan Deng, Tong Peng, Jie Xie, Xiao-Yu Zhang
  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Unhealthy diets rich in fats and/or sugar are considered as the major external cause of the obesity epidemic, which is often accompanied by a significant decrease in gut hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) levels. Numerous studies have demonstrated notable contributions of the gut microbiota in this process. Nevertheless, the underlying mechanism still needs further investigation. The role of epigenetic modifications in gene expression and metabolism has been well demonstrated, with m6A methylation on RNAs being the most prevalent modification throughout their metabolism. In the present study, we found that the expressions of small intestinal Gcg and Pc3, two key genes regulating GLP1 expression, were significantly downregulated in obese mice, associated with reduced GLP1 level. Immunohistochemistry analysis indicated that a high-fat diet slightly increased the density of enteroendocrine L cells in the small intestine, implying that decreased GLP1 levels were not caused by the changes in L cell intensity. Instead, the small intestinal m6A level as well as the expression of known “writers”, mettl3/14 and wtap, were found to be positively correlated with the expression of Gcg and Pc3. Fecal microbiota transplantation with feces from normal and obese mice daily to antibiotic-treated mice revealed that dysbiosis in diet-induced obesity was sufficient to reduce serum GLP1, small intestinal m6A level, and intestinal expressions of Gcg, Pc3, and writer genes (mettl3/14, wtap). However, as the most direct and universal methyl donor, the production of fecal S-adenosylmethionine was neither affected by the different dietary patterns nor their shaped microbiota. These results suggested that microbial modulation of the epitranscriptome may be involved in regulating GLP1 expression, and highlighted epitranscriptomic modifications as an additional level of interaction between diet and individual health.

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