Microbiota-dependent mechanisms in the regulation of host macronutrient preference
The gut microbiota is recognized to influence host metabolic response to dietary consumption. For example, fecal transplantation in rodents showed that the donor microbiota determined the obese or lean phenotype of the recipients under the same standard diet, with indications that total food consumption was also modified accordingly. The outstanding question is whether the gut microbiota actively regulates host feeding preference for specific macronutrients. Especially, can the health of a host be determined by the microbiota-driven selection of dietary nutrient content?
Using the fly model, we recently discovered that the dietary choices and the macronutrient preference of flies is impacted by the microbiota (Wong et al., Current Biology 2017 and unpub data), we are currently delineating the genetics and chemical mechanisms for microbiota-mediated effects in host macronutrient preference.