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Immune Netw. 2014 Dec;14(6):277-88. doi: 10.4110/in.2014.14.6.277. Epub 2014 Dec 22.

Gut microbiota-derived short-chain Fatty acids, T cells, and inflammation.

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1
Laboratory of Immunology and Hematopoiesis, Department of Comparative Pathobiology, Purdue Veterinary Medicine; Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering; Center for Cancer Research, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.

Abstract

T cells are central players in the regulation of adaptive immunity and immune tolerance. In the periphery, T cell differentiation for maturation and effector function is regulated by a number of factors. Various factors such as antigens, co-stimulation signals, and cytokines regulate T cell differentiation into functionally specialized effector and regulatory T cells. Other factors such as nutrients, micronutrients, nuclear hormones and microbial products provide important environmental cues for T cell differentiation. A mounting body of evidence indicates that the microbial metabolites short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) have profound effects on T cells and directly and indirectly regulate their differentiation. We review the current status of our understanding of SCFA functions in regulation of peripheral T cell activity and discuss their impact on tissue inflammation.

KEYWORDS:

Colitis; FoxP3; IL-10; Inflammation; Microbial metabolites; Microbiota; Short-chain fatty acids; Th1; Th17

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