Small molecules, big effects: microbial metabolites in intestinal immunity
The mammalian intestine is host to a vast number of microbial organisms. The immune system must balance tolerance with innate and adaptive defense mechanisms to maintain homeostasis with the microbial community. Interestingly, microbial metabolites have been shown to play a role in shaping the host immune response, thus assisting with adaptations that have significant implications for human health and disease. New investigations have uncovered roles for metabolites in modulating almost every aspect of the immune system. In this minireview, we survey these recent findings, which taken together reveal nuanced interactions that we are just beginning to understand.
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