The exact mechanisms underlying the metabolic effects of bariatric surgery remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate, using a combination of direct and indirect calorimetry, an increase in total resting metabolic rate (RMR) and specifically anaerobic RMR after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), but not sleeve gastrectomy (SG). We also show an RYGB-specific increase in splanchnic sympathetic nerve activity and “browning” of visceral mesenteric fat. Consequently, selective splanchnic denervation abolishes all beneficial metabolic outcomes of gastric bypass that involve changes in the endocannabinoid signaling within the small intestine. Furthermore, we demonstrate that administration of rimonabant, an endocannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1) inverse agonist, to obese mice mimics RYGB-specific effects on energy balance and splanchnic nerve activity. On the other hand, arachidonoylethanolamide (AEA), a CB1 agonist, attenuates the weight loss and metabolic signature of this procedure. These findings identify CB1 as a key player in energy regulation post-RYGB via a pathway involving the sympathetic nervous system.
Published by Elsevier Inc.