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The gut microbiota is known to contribute to efficient energy harvest from the diet by degrading plant polysaccharides, such as cellulose, xylan, pectin and resistant starch, and to promote energy storage by modulating the expression of host genes. The microbially produced short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) butyrate is the primary energy source for colonocytes; thus mice that lack a microbiota have energy-deprived colonocytes.

Lee and colleagues investigate how the gut microbiota and energy deficiency affect the colonic expression of Insl5 and use Insl5-/- mice to explore the role of INSL5. They find that colonic Insl5 expression is suppressed by the presence of a gut microbiota and increased energy availability. Furthermore, Insl5-/- mice are compromised in their ability to perform hepatic glucose production and possess an altered glycogen metabolism.

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The 60 Second Metabolist
In this section authors briefly report on their work recently published in Molecular Metabolism.

Watch the most recent interview by clicking the video still. The link "referring article" directs you to this author's publication.

Ursula Neumann
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
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