Obesity is associated with gut microbiota dysbiosis, characterized by a high Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio. Gut-dwelling bacteria of the Christensenellaceae family have been proposed to act as keystones of the human gut ecosystem and to prevent adipogenesis. The objectives of the present study were to demonstrate the antiobesity potential of a new strain of Christensenella minuta in preclinical models and explore related mechanisms of action.
The antiobesity potential of C. minuta DSM33407 was assessed in a diet-induced obesity mouse model. Changes in hepatic lipid metabolism were explored using targeted transcriptomics. Effects on gut microbiota were further assessed in a humanized Simulator of the Human Intestinal Microbial Ecosystem (SHIME®) model inoculated with obese fecal samples. Shotgun metagenomics was applied to study microbial community structures in both models. C. minuta DSM33407 protected from diet-induced obesity and regulated associated metabolic markers such as glycemia and leptin. It also regulated hepatic lipid metabolism through a strong inhibition of de novo lipogenesis and maintained gut epithelial integrity. In the humanized SHIME® model, these effects were associated with modulations of the intestinal microbiota characterized by a decreased Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio.
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