, Volume 52, Issue 6, pp 499–511 | Cite as

Short Term High Fat Diet Induces Obesity-Enhancing Changes in Mouse Gut Microbiota That are Partially Reversed by Cessation of the High Fat Diet

  • Yue Shang
  • Ehsan Khafipour
  • Hooman Derakhshani
  • Lindsei K. Sarna
  • Connie W. Woo
  • Yaw L. Siow
  • Karmin OEmail author
Original Article


The gut microbiota is proposed as a “metabolic organ” involved in energy utilization and is associated with obesity. Dietary intervention is one of the approaches for obesity management. Changes in dietary components have significant impacts on host metabolism and gut microbiota. In the present study, we examined the influence of dietary fat intervention on the modification of gut mucosa-associated microbiota profile along with body weight and metabolic parameter changes. Male C57BL/6J mice (6-week old) were fed a low fat diet (10% kcal fat) as a control or a high fat diet (HFD 60% kcal fat) for 7 weeks. In another group, mice were fed HFD for 5 weeks followed by low fat control diet for 2 weeks (HFD + Control). At 7 weeks, body weight gain, blood glucose and hepatic triacylglycerol levels of mice fed a HFD were significantly higher than that of the control group and the HFD + Control group. There were significant differences in the diversity and predicted functional properties of microbiota in the cecum and colon mucosa between the control group and the HFD group. HFD feeding reduced the ratio of Bacteroidetes to Firmicutes, a microbiota pattern often associated with obesity. The HFD + Control diet partially restored the diversity and composition of microbiota in the cecum to the pattern observed in mice fed a control diet. These results suggest that short-term high fat diet withdrawal can restore metabolic changes and prevent excess body weight gain, however, long-term dietary intervention may be required to optimize the restoration of gut microbiota in mouse.


Dietary fat intervention High fat diet Gut microbiota Mucosa 



Analysis of variance


General linear models


High fat diet


Kyoto encyclopedia of genes and genomes


Operational taxonomic units


Principal coordinate analysis


Permutational multivariate analysis of variance


Phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states


Quantitative insights into microbial ecology


Statistical analysis of metagenomic profiles



This study was supported, in part, by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre and University of Manitoba Start-up Grant Program.

Supplementary material

11745_2017_4253_MOESM1_ESM.docx (60 kb)
Supplementary Table 1. Phylogenetic comparisons (level 3) based on KEGG pathways. Significant differences observed by phylogenetic comparisons of cecum and colon mucosa-associated microbiota using KEGG orthology reference pathways (on level 3) between mice fed different types of diets (n = 4 per group) (DOCX 60 kb)
11745_2017_4253_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (135 kb)
Taxonomy analysis. Raw count data standardized to percentage relative abundance per phylum, class, order, family, and genus of the cecal and colonic microorganisms in each sample (XLSX 135 kb)


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Copyright information

© AOCS 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yue Shang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ehsan Khafipour
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hooman Derakhshani
    • 2
  • Lindsei K. Sarna
    • 1
    • 2
  • Connie W. Woo
    • 4
  • Yaw L. Siow
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  • Karmin O
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory of Integrative Biology, CCARMSt. Boniface Hospital Research CentreWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Department of Animal ScienceWinnipegCanada
  3. 3.Department of Medical MicrobiologyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  4. 4.Department of Pharmacology and PharmacyUniversity of Hong KongHong KongChina
  5. 5.Agriculture and Agri-Food CanadaWinnipegCanada
  6. 6.Department of Physiology and PathophysiologyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

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