Small intestinal metabolomics analysis reveals differentially regulated metabolite profiles in obese rats and with prebiotic supplementation

Rachel K. Meyer, Megan A. Bime, Frank A. Duca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Obesity occurs partly due to consumption of a high-fat, high-sugar and low fiber diet and is associated with an altered gut microbiome. Prebiotic supplementation can reverse obesity and beneficially alter the gut microbiome, evidenced by previous studies in rodents. However, the role of the small intestinal metabolome in obese and prebiotic supplemented rodents has never been investigated. Objectives: To investigate and compare the small intestinal metabolome of healthy and obese rats, as well as obese rats supplemented with the prebiotic oligofructose (OFS). Methods: Untargeted metabolomics was performed on small intestinal contents of healthy chow-fed, high fat diet-induced obese, and obese rats supplemented with oligofructose using UPLC-MS/MS. Quantification of enterohepatic bile acids was performed with UPLC-MS to determine specific effects of obesity and fiber supplementation on the bile acid pool composition. Results: The small intestinal metabolome of obese rats was distinct from healthy rats. OFS supplementation did not significantly alter the small intestinal metabolome but did alter levels of several metabolites compared to obese rats, including bile acid metabolites, amino acid metabolites, and metabolites related to the gut microbiota. Further, obese rats had lower total bile acids and increased taurine-conjugated bile acid species in enterohepatic circulation; this effect was reversed with OFS supplementation in high fat-feeding. Conclusion: Obesity is associated with a distinct small intestinal metabolome, and OFS supplementation reverses some metabolite levels that were altered in obese rats. Future research into the effects of specific metabolites identified in this study will provide deeper insight into the mechanism of fiber supplementation on improved body weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number60
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022


  • Gut-derived metabolites
  • Obesity
  • Oligofructose
  • Small intestinal metabolome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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