Gut microbiota from twins discordant for obesity modulate metabolism in mice

Vanessa K. Ridaura, Jeremiah J. Faith, Federico E. Rey, Jiye Cheng, Alexis E. Duncan, Andrew L. Kau, Nicholas W. Griffin, Vincent Lombard, Bernard Henrissat, James R. Bain, Michael J. Muehlbauer, Olga Ilkayeva, Clay F. Semenkovich, Katsuhiko Funai, David K. Hayashi, Barbara J. Lyle, Margaret C. Martini, Luke K. Ursell, Jose C. Clemente, William Van TreurenWilliam A. Walters, Rob Knight, Christopher B. Newgard, Andrew C. Heath, Jeffrey I. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2769 Scopus citations


The role of specific gut microbes in shaping body composition remains unclear. We transplanted fecal microbiota from adult female twin pairs discordant for obesity into germ-free mice fed low-fat mouse chow, as well as diets representing different levels of saturated fat and fruit and vegetable consumption typical of the U.S. diet. Increased total body and fat mass, as well as obesity-associated metabolic phenotypes, were transmissible with uncultured fecal communities and with their corresponding fecal bacterial culture collections. Cohousing mice harboring an obese twin's microbiota (Ob) with mice containing the lean co-twin's microbiota (Ln) prevented the development of increased body mass and obesity-associated metabolic phenotypes in Ob cage mates. Rescue correlated with invasion of specific members of Bacteroidetes from the Ln microbiota into Ob microbiota and was diet-dependent. These findings reveal transmissible, rapid, and modifiable effects of diet-by-microbiota interactions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1241214
Issue number6150
StatePublished - 2013


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