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Clec7a drives gut fungus-mediated host lipid deposition.

Microbiome 2023 November 26
BACKGROUND: Compared to that of bacteria, the role of gut fungi in obesity development remains unknown.

RESULTS: Here, alterations in gut fungal biodiversity and composition were confirmed in obese pig models and high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice. Antifungal drugs improved diet-induced obesity, while fungal reconstruction by cohousing or fecal microbiota transplantation maintained the obese phenotype in HFD-fed mice. Fungal profiling identified 5 fungal species associated with obesity. Specifically, Ascomycota_sp. and Microascaceae_sp. were reduced in obese mice and negatively correlated with fat content. Oral supplementation with fungi was sufficient to prevent and treat diet-induced obesity. Clec7a, which is involved in fungal recognition, was highly expressed in HFD-fed mice. The Clec7a agonist accelerated diet-induced obesity, while Clec7a deficieny in mice resulted in resistance to diet-induced obesity and blocked the anti-obese effect of antifungal drugs and fungi.

CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, these results indicate that gut fungi/Clec7a signaling is involved in diet-induced obesity and may have therapeutic implications as a biomarker for metabolic dysregulation in humans. Video Abstract.

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