Anti-adipogenic effect of theabrownin is mediated by bile acid alternative synthesis via gut microbiota remodeling

Junliang Kuang, Xiaojiao Zheng, Fengjie Huang, Shouli Wang, Mengci Li, Mingliang Zhao, Chao Sang, Kun Ge, Yitao Li, Jiufeng Li, Cynthia Rajani, Xiaohui Ma, Shuiping Zhou, Aihua Zhao, Wei Jia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Theabrownin is one of the most bioactive compounds in Pu-erh tea. Our previous study revealed that the hypocholesterolemic effect of theabrownin was mediated by the modulation of bile salt hydrolase (BSH)-enriched gut microbiota and bile acid metabolism. In this study, we demonstrated that theabrownin ameliorated high-fat-diet (HFD)-induced obesity by modifying gut microbiota, especially those with 7α-dehydroxylation on the species level, and these changed microbes were positively correlated with secondary bile acid (BA) metabolism. Thus, altered intestinal BAs resulted in shifting bile acid biosynthesis from the classic to the alternative pathway. This shift changed the BA pool by increasing non-12α-hydroxylated-BAs (non-12OH-BAs) and decreasing 12α-hydroxylated BAs (12OH-BAs), which improved energy metabolism in white and brown adipose tissue. This study showed that theabrownin was a potential therapeutic modality for obesity and other metabolic disorders via gut microbiota-driven bile acid alternative synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number475
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

User-Defined Keywords

  • 7α-dehydroxylation
  • Bile acids
  • Energy metabolism
  • Gut microbiota


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