The Journal of biological chemistry

Activation of Short and Long Chain Fatty Acid Sensing Machinery in the Ileum Lowers Glucose Production in Vivo.

PMID 26896795


Evidence continues to emerge detailing the myriad of ways the gut microbiota influences host energy homeostasis. Among the potential mechanisms, short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), the byproducts of microbial fermentation of dietary fibers, exhibit correlative beneficial metabolic effects in humans and rodents, including improvements in glucose homeostasis. The underlying mechanisms, however, remain elusive. We here report that one of the main bacterially produced SCFAs, propionate, activates ileal mucosal free fatty acid receptor 2 to trigger a negative feedback pathway to lower hepatic glucose production in healthy rats in vivo We further demonstrate that an ileal glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor-dependent neuronal network is necessary for ileal propionate and long chain fatty acid sensing to regulate glucose homeostasis. These findings highlight the potential to manipulate fatty acid sensing machinery in the ileum to regulate glucose homeostasis.