Adipose tissue (AT) has a modulating role in obesity-induced metabolic complications like type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) via the production of so-called adipokines such as leptin, adiponectin, and resistin. The adipokines are believed to influence other tissues and to affect insulin resistance, liver function, and to increase the risk of T2DM. In this study, we examined the impact of intervention with the short-chain fatty acid butyrate following a high-fat diet (HFD) on AT function and other metabolic risk factors associated with obesity and T2DM in mice during mid- and late life. In both mid- and late adulthood, butyrate reduced HFD-induced adipocyte hypertrophy and elevations in leptin levels, which were associated with body weight, and cholesterol and triglyceride levels. HFD feeding stimulated macrophage accumulation primarily in epididymal AT in both mid- and late life adult mice, which correlated with liver inflammation in late adulthood. In late-adult mice, butyrate diminished increased insulin levels, which were related to adipocyte size and macrophage content in epididymal AT. These results suggest that dietary butyrate supplementation is able to counteract HFD-induced detrimental changes in AT function and metabolic outcomes in late life. These changes underlie the obesity-induced elevated risk of T2DM, and therefore it is suggested that butyrate has potential to attenuate risk factors associated with obesity and T2DM.
- Adipose tissue
- High-fat diet