Intrinsic aerobic capacity governs the associations between gut microbiota composition and fat metabolism age-dependently in rat siblings Article (Web of Science)


  • Host genetic factors affecting the gut microbiome play an important role in obesity, yet limited attention has been paid on the host genetic factors linked to physical fitness in modifying the microbiome. This study determined whether sibling-matched pairs of rats selectively bred for high (HCR) and low (LCR) aerobic capacity differ in their microbiome age-dependently and which taxa associate with differential in metabolism. Several taxa in young adult rats (hereafter young) linked to inherited aerobic capacity, while in older adult (hereafter old) rats most of the differences between the lines associated with body weight. Despite the absence of weight differential between LCR and HCR when young, the LCR microbiome contained more Actinobacteria, Veillonellaceae, Coriobacteriaceae, Phascolarctobacterium, and Ruminococcus; taxa previously linked to obesity. This raises the question whether the microbiome contributes to the later development of obesity in LCR. Age-related differences were detected in almost all taxa in both rat lines. The young HCR measured higher for serum glycerol and free fatty-acids and lower for cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides than LCR. The old HCR differed from the old LCR by lower LDL. Several metabolites, including LDL, are associated age and genetic background-dependently with the microbiome, which might explain the metabolic differences between the lines. While old lines did not differ in visceral adipose tissue gene expression, the young HCR expressed more inflammatory genes than LCR, and several taxa including Proteobacteria associated with these genes. In conclusion, intrinsic aerobic capacity governs the microbiome, which may influence body weight, metabolism, and gene expression.


  • Pekkala, Satu
  • Lensu, Sanna
  • Nokia, Miriam
  • Vanhatalo, Sanja
  • Koch, Lauren Gerard
  • Britton, Steven L.
  • Kainulainen, Heikki

publication date

  • 2017

published in

number of pages

  • 13

start page

  • 733

end page

  • 746


  • 49


  • 12