Gut microbiota are linked to increased susceptibility to hepatic steatosis in low-aerobic-capacity rats fed an acute high-fat diet Article (Web of Science)


  • Poor aerobic fitness is linked to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and increased all-cause mortality. We previously found that rats with a low capacity for running (LCR) that were fed an acute high-fat diet (HFD; 45% kcal from fat) for 3 days resulted in positive energy balance and increased hepatic steatosis compared with rats that were highly aerobically fit with a high capacity for running (HCR). Here, we tested the hypothesis that poor physiological outcomes in LCR rats following acute HFD feeding are associated with alterations in cecal microbiota. LCR rats exhibited greater body weight, feeding efficiency, 3 days of body weight change, and liver triglycerides after acute HFD feeding compared with HCR rats. Furthermore, compared with HCR rats, LCR rats exhibited reduced expression of intestinal tight junction proteins. Cecal bacterial 16S rDNA revealed that LCR rats had reduced cecal Proteobacteria compared with HCR rats. Microbiota of HCR rats consisted of greater relative abundance of Desulfovibrionaceae and unassigned genera within this family, suggesting increased reduction of endogenous mucins and proteins. Although feeding rats an acute HFD led to reduced Firmicutes in both strains, short-chain fatty acid-producing Phascolarctobacterium was reduced in LCR rats. In addition, Ruminococcae and Ruminococcus were negatively correlated with energy intake in the LCR/HFD rats. Predicted metagenomic function suggested that LCR rats had a greater capacity to metabolize carbohydrate and energy compared with HCR rats. Overall, these data suggest that the populations and metabolic capacity of the microbiota in low-aerobically fit LCR rats may contribute to their susceptibility to acute HFD-induced hepatic steatosis and poor physiologic outcomes.


  • Panasevich, Matthew R.
  • Morris, E. M.
  • Chintapalli, S. V.
  • Wankhade, U. D.
  • Shankar, K.
  • Britton, S. L.
  • Koch, Lauren Gerard
  • Thyfault, J. P.
  • Rector, R. S.

publication date

  • 2016

start page

  • G166

end page

  • G179


  • 311


  • 1