2017 Volume 63 Issue 4 Pages 269-276
Gut microbiota are deeply associated with the prevalence of obesity. Agarose is hydrolyzed easily to yield oligosaccharides, designated as agaro-oligosaccharides (AGO). This study evaluated the effects of AGO on obese phenotype and gut microbial composition in mice. Mice were administered AGO in drinking water (AGO-receiving mice). 16S rRNA gene sequencing analyses revealed their fecal microbiota profiles. Serum bile acids were ascertained using a LC-MS/MS system. Compared to the control group, AGO administration significantly reduced epididymal adipose tissue weights and serum non-esterified fatty acid concentrations, but the cecal content weights were increased. Data from the serum bile acid profile show that concentrations of primary bile acids (cholic acid and chenodeoxycholic acid), but not those of secondary bile acids (deoxycholic acid, lithocholic acid, and ursodeoxycholic acid), tended to increase in AGO-receiving mice. 16S rRNA gene sequencing analyses showed that the relative abundances of 15 taxa differed significantly in AGO-receiving mice. Of these, the relative abundances of Rikenellaceae and Lachnospiraceae were found to be positively correlated with epididymal adipose tissue weight. The relative abundances of Bacteroides and Ruminococcus were correlated negatively with epididymal adipose tissue weight. Although the definitive role of gut microbes of AGO-received mice is still unknown, our data demonstrate the possibility that AGO administration affects the gut microbial composition and inhibits obesity in mice.