Affordable Access

Sex differences in intestinal carbohydrate metabolism promote food intake and sperm maturation

  • Hudry, B
  • De Goeij, E
  • Mineo, A
  • Gaspar, P
  • Hadjieconomou, D
  • Studd, C
  • Mokochinski, J
  • Kramer, H
  • Plaçais, P-Y
  • Preat, T
  • Miguel-Aliaga, I
Publication Date
Jul 15, 2019
UPCommons. Portal del coneixement obert de la UPC


Physiology and metabolism are often sexually dimorphic, but the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Here, we use the intestine of Drosophila melanogaster to investigate how gut-derived signals contribute to sex differences in whole-body physiology. We find that carbohydrate handling is male-biased in a specific portion of the intestine. In contrast to known sexual dimorphisms in invertebrates, the sex differences in intestinal carbohydrate metabolism are extrinsically controlled by the adjacent male gonad, which activates JAK-STAT signalling in enterocytes within this intestinal portion. Sex reversal experiments establish roles for this malebiased intestinal metabolic state in controlling food intake and sperm production through gutderived citrate. Our work uncovers a male gonad-gut axis coupling diet and sperm production, and reveals that metabolic communication across organs is physiologically significant. The instructive role of citrate in inter-organ communication may be significant in more biological contexts than previously recognised.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times