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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2013 Apr;11(4):227-38. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2974. Epub 2013 Feb 25.

The gut microbiota--masters of host development and physiology.

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Wallenberg Laboratory for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Gothenburg, SE-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden.


Establishing and maintaining beneficial interactions between the host and its associated microbiota are key requirements for host health. Although the gut microbiota has previously been studied in the context of inflammatory diseases, it has recently become clear that this microbial community has a beneficial role during normal homeostasis, modulating the host's immune system as well as influencing host development and physiology, including organ development and morphogenesis, and host metabolism. The underlying molecular mechanisms of host-microorganism interactions remain largely unknown, but recent studies have begun to identify the key signalling pathways of the cross-species homeostatic regulation between the gut microbiota and its host.

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