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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2015 Nov 15;309(10):L1047-55. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00279.2015. Epub 2015 Oct 2.

Homeostasis and its disruption in the lung microbiome.

Author information

1
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan; and rodickso@med.umich.edu.
2
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan; and.
3
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Abstract

The disciplines of physiology and ecology are united by the shared centrality of the concept of homeostasis: the stability of a complex system via internal mechanisms of self-regulation, resilient to external perturbation. In the past decade, these fields of study have been bridged by the discovery of the lung microbiome. The respiratory tract, long considered sterile, is in fact a dynamic ecosystem of microbiota, intimately associated with the host inflammatory response, altered in disease states. If the microbiome is a "newly discovered organ," ecology is the language we use to explain how it establishes, maintains, and loses homeostasis. In this essay, we review recent insights into the feedback mechanisms by which the lung microbiome and the host response are regulated in health and dysregulated in acute and chronic lung disease. We propose three explanatory models supported by recent studies: the adapted island model of lung biogeography, nutritional homeostasis at the host-microbiome interface, and interkingdom signaling and the community stress response.

KEYWORDS:

16S; culture-independent; ecology; equilibrium; homeostasis; lung; microbial ecology; physiology; pulmonary

PMID:
26432870
PMCID:
PMC4652146
DOI:
10.1152/ajplung.00279.2015
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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