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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2010 Mar;1801(3):240-5. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2009.09.009. Epub 2009 Sep 24.

Coordinated regulation of the metabolome and lipidome at the host-microbial interface.

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Sahlgrenska Center for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research/Wallenberg Laboratory and Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Gothenburg, S-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden.


The creative use of gnotobiotic animals, coupled with the development of modern metagenomic sequencing platforms and metabolomic profiling of biospecimens, has bestowed new insight into the remarkably intricate interface between the host mammal and its resident microbiota. As mutual benefactors, each partner exhibits evidence of adaptation: the host provides a hospitable habitat, giving consideration to its own species of origin, diet, genotype, geographical location, presence or absence of disease, and use of medications; the microbiota, in turn, configures its constituency, collective genome (microbiome), transcriptome, and metabolome to optimally suit its ecological niche. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms through which the gut microbiota and its host collaborate to regulate lipid metabolism, thereby influencing the metabolic response to nutrient intake and ultimately, the development of obesity and associated diseases such as lipotoxicity. These studies therefore demonstrate that the gut microbiota is an "environmental" influence whose synergistic interdependence with its host strongly suggests that we are in fact "supraorganisms."

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