Researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Centre discovered that the one single molecule present in the intestinal wall can be activated by the waste products of gut microbiota, which play an important role in controlling the host (mice) adiposity.

When these molecules are activated, it slows down the movement of food in the intestine, this helps the host animal to absorb more nutrients from the food, thus gain weight. If this signal from the molecule is blocked the host animal weigh less.


1. In the intestine two different species of bacteria break down the complex fatty acid into a simpler molecule known as short-chain fatty acids.
2. These short-chain fatty acids activate the gut receptor known as G Protein-coupled receptor, Gpr41. Thus help in absorbing more nutrients and increased the host adiposity.
3. Scientists then disrupted this host and bacteria signal by genetically modifying the mice in such a way that it lacked the Gpr41 receptors.
4. Researchers found that the food passes the intestine very quickly and also the very less nutrients are absorbed by the host.
5. Host lacking this Gprotein-coupled receptor 41 were lean and weighed less compared to the mice with Gprotein-coupled receptor 41. This shows that host uses gut microbiota not only for nutrients but also as signal molecules.

Further Implications:

The mice lacking receptor Gpr41 were healthy and had normal intestine function.
Like the mice human gut also has many numbers of gut bacteria, which help in digesting complex food stuffs and also help in the production of vitamins like vitamin B12 and much more. The receptor short-chain fatty acid binding G-protein receptors can also be used to fight certain kinds of obesity by slowing the energy intake. These receptors can be used as drug targets, to slow down the energy intake in the hosts.

About Author / Additional Info: