APR 19, 2016 9:35 AM PDT

E. coli curbs a sweet tooth

WRITTEN BY: Kerry Evans
Researchers from Augusta University found that E. coli helps curb a sweet tooth.

The group found that, in mice, administering E. coli  lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into the gut caused mice to lose their desire for sweets. They think that LPS may play some role in regulating the satiety hormone leptin.

Gram-negative LPS consists of a lipid component covalently linked to a polysaccharide component called the O-antigen. The lipid portion, called lipid A, is bound to the bacterial outer membrane. LPS gained fame for its ability to stimulate a robust immune response by activating toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) - just one of the reasons bacteria can make you sick.  
 
LPS may regulate your sweet tooth.

The type of LPS these researchers used is called “detoxified” LPS. This version lacks the fatty acids that are attached to lipid A and produces a less potent immune response.

For their studies, the group administered LPS to mice and found that leptin levels increased within 15 hours. At the same time, the number of sweet receptors on the tongue decreased. Interestingly, LPS only affected how the mice tasted sweets - their perception of salty foods remained unchanged.

Leptin is produced by fat cells and makes us feel full. If mice are not able to produce leptin, they become obese. Thus, these findings could reveal new ways of regulating leptin levels to treat obesity.

According to study author Lynette McCluskey, “in our field, we are starting to think about how hormones and different factors affect the taste system, even at the level of the taste buds, and contribute to obesity … identifying the taste, whether it's sweet or not, is the first step in feeding. We wanted to know if you change the environment in the gut, what happens to the taste system”.

These findings will be presented at the Association for Chemoreception Sciences Annual Meeting.

Sources: Association for Chemoreception Sciences Annual Meeting, EurekAlert, Wikipedia
 
About the Author
  • Kerry received a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
You May Also Like
JAN 15, 2020
Microbiology
JAN 15, 2020
Scientists Engineer a New Kind of Life Form
Usig cells harvested from frogs, researchers created tiny robots....
FEB 09, 2020
Microbiology
FEB 09, 2020
Investigating the Links Between Viruses and Cancer
The Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) has brought over 1,300 scientists together to gain new insights into the genetics of cancer....
FEB 23, 2020
Cell & Molecular Biology
FEB 23, 2020
A New Class of Bacterial Enzymes is Discovered
Bacterial enzymes can serve many processes, from breaking down pollutants and digesting foods to metabolizing drugs....
MAR 03, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
MAR 03, 2020
Drug Used for Ebola Virus Could Fight COVID19
Previously, the drug remdesivir was found to treat coronaviruses that cause Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (...
MAR 15, 2020
Microbiology
MAR 15, 2020
COVID-19 - What To Do If You Get Sick
It now seems that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is spreading through communities in many places worldwide....
MAR 30, 2020
Genetics & Genomics
MAR 30, 2020
Scientists Discover an Antibiotic Resistance Gene
The gene enables bacteria to resist the effects of an aminoglycoside antibiotic called plazomycin....
Loading Comments...