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Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2016 Aug;12(8):446-55. doi: 10.1038/nrrheum.2016.68. Epub 2016 Jun 3.

The metabolic role of the gut microbiota in health and rheumatic disease: mechanisms and interventions.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, New York University School of Medicine and Hospital for Joint Diseases, 301 East 17th Street, Room 1608, New York, New York 10003, USA.
Radboud Institute of Molecular Life Sciences (RIMLS) and Department of Rheumatology, Route 272, Radboud University Medical Center, Geert Grooteplein 28, 6525GA, Nijmegen, Netherlands.


The role of the gut microbiome in animal models of inflammatory and autoimmune disease is now well established. The human gut microbiome is currently being studied as a potential modulator of the immune response in rheumatic disorders. However, the vastness and complexity of this host-microorganism interaction is likely to go well beyond taxonomic, correlative observations. In fact, most advances in the field relate to the functional and metabolic capabilities of these microorganisms and their influence on mucosal immunity and systemic inflammation. An intricate relationship between the microbiome and the diet of the host is now fully recognized, with the microbiota having an important role in the degradation of polysaccharides into active metabolites. This Review summarizes the current knowledge on the metabolic role of the microbiota in health and rheumatic disease, including the advances in pharmacomicrobiomics and its potential use in diagnostics, therapeutics and personalized medicine.

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