TitleBridging immunity and lipid metabolism by gut microbiota.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsGreer, RL, Morgun, A, Shulzhenko, N
JournalThe Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
Date Published2013 Aug

The human gut is a unique organ in which hundreds of different microbial species find their habitat and in which different host physiologic functions, such as digestion, nutrition, and immunity, coexist. Although all these players were studied separately for decades, recently, there has been an explosion of studies demonstrating the essential role for interactions between these components in gut function. Furthermore, new systems biology methods provide essential tools to study this complex system as a whole and to identify key elements that define the crosstalk between the gut microbiota, immunity, and metabolism. This review is devoted to several human diseases resulting from the disruption in this crosstalk, including immunodeficiency-associated and environmental enteropathies, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and obesity. We describe findings in experimental models of these diseases and in germ-free animals that help us understand the mechanisms and test new therapeutic strategies. We also discuss current challenges that the field is facing and propose that a new generation of antibiotics, prebiotics, and probiotics coupled with novel, systems biology-driven diagnostics will provide the basis for future personalized therapy.