Metabolites: messengers between the microbiota and the immune system
The mammalian intestine harbors one of the largest microbial densities on Earth, necessitating the implementation of control mechanisms by which the host evaluates the state of microbial colonization and reacts to deviations from homeostasis. While microbial recognition by the innate immune system has been firmly established as an efficient means by which the host evaluates microbial presence, recent work has uncovered a central role for bacterial metabolites in the orchestration of the host immune response. In this review, we highlight examples of how microbiota-modulated metabolites control the development, differentiation, and activity of the immune system and classify them into functional categories that illustrate the spectrum of ways by which microbial metabolites influence host physiology. A comprehensive understanding of how microbiota-derived metabolites shape the human immune system is critical for the rational design of therapies for microbiota-driven diseases.
Visit full artice page: http://genesdev.cshlp.org/content/30/14/1589.long