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Mol Metab. 2018 May;11:189-196. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2018.02.009. Epub 2018 Feb 26.

Vertical sleeve gastrectomy corrects metabolic perturbations in a low-exercise capacity rat model.

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Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, USA.
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
Department of Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Electronic address:



Bariatric surgery is currently our most effective strategy at weight loss, yet the mechanisms for its success remain unknown. Low exercise capacity, in humans and rodents, predicts poor metabolic outcome. The objective of this manuscript was to determine if bariatric surgery could restore metabolic perturbations in rats with low intrinsic exercise capacity.


We performed vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) or sham surgery in high fat-fed rats selectively bred for low running capacity.


We found that VSG reduced body mass through a reduction in fat mass, caused early reductions in food intake, and shifted macronutrient preference away from fat and toward carbohydrates. VSG had no impact on basal glucose but did improve the return to baseline after an oral glucose load. As has been shown previously, VSG increased postprandial insulin, GLP-1, and bile acids. There was no significant impact of VSG on plasma triglycerides, hepatic triglycerides, or cholesterol. Interestingly, the brown adipose tissue to white adipose tissue ratio tended to be greater in VSG compared to sham surgery animals. While VSG positively impacted several aspects of metabolism, it did not enhance maximal oxygen capacity and seemed to lower metabolic efficiency as indicated by lower resting oxygen consumption and fat and carbohydrate oxidation.


VSG can improve the metabolic status of animals with a low exercise capacity independently of exercise capacity.


Bariatric surgery; Exercise; Metabolism

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