Interaction between dietary lipids and gut microbiota regulates hepatic cholesterol metabolism

Robert Caesar (Corresponding Author), Heli Nygrén, Matej Oresic, Fredrik Bäckhed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


The gut microbiota influences many aspects of host metabolism. We have previously shown that the presence of a gut microbiota remodels lipid composition. Here we investigated how interaction between gut microbiota and dietary lipids regulates lipid composition in the liver and plasma, and gene expression in the liver. Germ-free and conventionally raised mice were fed a lard or fi sh oil diet for 11 weeks. We performed lipidomics analysis of the liver and serum and microarray analysis of the liver. As expected, most of the variation in the lipidomics dataset was induced by the diet, and abundance of most lipid classes differed between mice fed lard and fi sh oil. However, the gut microbiota also affected lipid composition. The gut microbiota increased hepatic levels of cholesterol and cholesteryl esters in mice fed lard, but not in mice fed fi sh oil. Serum levels of cholesterol and cholesteryl esters were not affected by the gut microbiota. Genes encoding enzymes involved in cholesterol biosynthesis were downregulated by the gut microbiota in mice fed lard and were expressed at a low level in mice fed fi sh oil independent of microbial status. In summary, we show that gut microbiota-induced regulation of hepatic cholesterol metabolism is dependent on dietary lipid composition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)474-781
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • cholesterol/biosynthesis
  • fish oil
  • gene expression
  • germ-free
  • lipidomics
  • liver
  • microarrays

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