Sex Differences in Fish Oil and Olanzapine Effects on Gut Microbiota in Diet-Induced Obese Mice

Mostafa M. Abbas, Paul Soto, Latha Ramalingam, Yasser El-Manzalawy, Halima Bensmail, Naima Moustaid-Moussa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Children are prescribed second-generation antipsychotic (SGA) medications, such as olanzapine (OLZ) for FDA-approved and “off-label” indications. The long-term impact of early-life SGA medication exposure is unclear. Olanzapine and other SGA medications are known to cause excessive weight gain in young and adult patients, suggesting the possibility of long-term complications associated with the use of these drugs, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Further, the weight gain effects of OLZ have previously been shown to depend on the presence of gut bacteria and treatment with OLZ, which shifts gut bacteria toward an “obesogenic” profile. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate changes in gut bacteria in adult mice following early life treatment with OLZ and being fed either a high-fat diet or a high-fat diet supplemented with fish oil, which has previously been shown to counteract gut dysbiosis, weight gain, and inflammation produced by a high-fat diet. Female and male C57Bl/6J mice were fed a high fat diet without (HF) or with the supplementation of fish oil (HF-FO) and treated with OLZ from postnatal day (PND) 37–65 resulting in four groups of mice: mice fed a HF diet and treated with OLZ (HF-OLZ), mice fed a HF diet and treated with vehicle (HF), mice fed a HF-FO diet and treated with OLZ (HF-FO-OLZ), and mice fed a HF-FO diet and treated with vehicle (HF-FO). Following euthanasia at approximately 164 days of age, we determined changes in gut bacteria populations and serum LPS binding protein, an established marker of gut inflammation and dysbiosis. Our results showed that male HF-FO and HF-FO-OLZ mice had lower body weights, at sacrifice, compared to the HF group, with a comparable body weight across groups in female mice. HF-FO and HF-FO-OLZ male groups also exhibited lower serum LPS binding protein levels compared to the HF group, with no differences across groups in female mice. Gut microbiota profiles were also different among the four groups; the Bacteroidetes-to-Firmicutes (B/F) ratio had the lowest value of 0.51 in the HF group compared to 0.6 in HF-OLZ, 0.9 in HF-FO, and 1.1 in HF-FO-OLZ, with no differences in female mice. In conclusion, FO reduced dietary obesity and its associated inflammation and increased the B/F ratio in male mice but did not benefit the female mice. Although the weight lowering effects of OLZ were unexpected, FO effects persisted in the presence of olanzapine, demonstrating its potential protective effects in male subjects using antipsychotic drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number349
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Fish oil
  • Obesity
  • Second-generation antipsychotic (SGA)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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