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© 2020 Elsevier Inc. Objectives: Gut microbiota profiles contribute to differences in obesity phenotype. We examined the abundance of the species Clostridium butyricum in relation to obesity phenotype. Methods: In outbred Sprague -Dawley rats we examined effects of dietary fat, resistant starch (RS), and a microbiota transplant on obesity phenotype. Using targeted qPCR, we examined the abundance of total gut bacteria and C. butyricum in relation to the propensity of obesity prone and obesity resistant rats to accumulate abdominal fat. Results: Before inclusion of dietary RS, obesity resistant (OR) rats had higher amounts of total bacteria, and C. butyricum compared to obesity prone (OP) rats (P < 0.005 in study I, P < 0.0001 in study II). A high fat diet (HF) lowered C. butyricum levels while RS had no effect. Dietary RS elicited robust fermentation and increased total bacteria only in OP rats. In preparation for the transplant, antibiotics were administered to recipient rats. Four weeks thereafter, total bacteria levels were restored but, C. butyricum levels were not. The transplant between the two phenotypes had no effect on abundance of C. butyricum and obesity phenotype. Conclusions: While C. butyricum is a known saccharolytic, its proliferation is not enhanced by fermentation of resistant starch. C. butyricum maybe one of the species that constitute a core microbiota involved in energy storage and metabolism through mechanisms that are not yet known.

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