Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Gastroenterology. 2009 Jan;136(1):65-80. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2008.10.080. Epub 2008 Nov 19.

Microbes in gastrointestinal health and disease.

Author information

  • Department of Pathology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA. aneish@emory.edu

Abstract

Most, if not all, animals coexist with a complement of prokaryotic symbionts that confer a variety of physiologic benefits. In humans, the interaction between animal and bacterial cells is especially important in the gastrointestinal tract. Technical and conceptual advances have enabled rapid progress in characterizing the taxonomic composition, metabolic capacity, and immunomodulatory activity of the human gut microbiota, allowing us to establish its role in human health and disease. The human host coevolved with a normal microbiota over millennia and developed, deployed, and optimized complex immune mechanisms that monitor and control this microbial ecosystem. These cellular mechanisms have homeostatic roles beyond the traditional concept of defense against potential pathogens, suggesting these pathways contribute directly to the well-being of the gut. During their coevolution, the bacterial microbiota has established multiple mechanisms to influence the eukaryotic host, generally in a beneficial fashion, and maintain their stable niche. The prokaryotic genomes of the human microbiota encode a spectrum of metabolic capabilities beyond that of the host genome, making the microbiota an integral component of human physiology. Gaining a fuller understanding of both partners in the normal gut-microbiota interaction may shed light on how the relationship can go awry and contribute to a spectrum of immune, inflammatory, and metabolic disorders and may reveal mechanisms by which this relationship could be manipulated toward therapeutic ends.

PMID:
19026645
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2892787
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (3)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk