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Endocrinology. 2018 Jun 1;159(6):2495-2505. doi: 10.1210/en.2018-00296.

Gut Microbiota: FFAR Reaching Effects on Islets.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois.
Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.


The G protein-coupled receptors, free fatty acid (FFA) receptors 2 and 3 (FFA2 and FFA3), belonging to the free fatty acid receptor (FFAR) class, sense a distinct class of nutrients, short chain fatty acids (SCFAs). These receptors participate in both immune and metabolic regulation. The latter includes a role in regulating secretion of metabolic hormones. It was only recently that their role in pancreatic β cells was recognized; these receptors are known now to affect not only insulin secretion but also β-cell survival and proliferation. These observations make them excellent potential therapeutic targets in type 2 diabetes. Moreover, expression on both immune and β cells makes these receptors possible targets in type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, SCFAs are generated by gut microbial fermentative activity; therefore, signaling by FFA2 and FFA3 represents an exciting novel link between the gut microbiota and the β cells. This review enumerates the role of these receptors in β cells revealed so far and discusses possible roles in clinical translation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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