Microbial metabolites and the vagal afferent pathway in the control of food intake

Helen E. Raybould, Danielle L. Zumpano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The gut microbiota is able to influence overall energy balance via effects on both energy intake and expenditure, and is a peripheral target for potential obesity therapies. However, the precise mechanism by which the gut microbiota influences energy intake and body weight regulation is not clear. Microbes use small molecules to communicate with each other; some of these molecules are ligands at mammalian receptors and this may be a mechanism by which microbes communicate with the host. Here we briefly review the literature showing beneficial effects of microbial metabolites on food intake regulation and examine the potential role for vagal afferent neurons, the gut-brain axis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113555
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
StatePublished - Oct 15 2021


  • Kynurenine pathway
  • Microbial metabolites
  • Short chain fatty acids
  • Tryptophan
  • Vagal afferent neurons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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