Regulation of inflammatory responses by the commensal microbiota
- Correspondence to Benjamin J Marsland, CHUV, Service de Pneumologie, BH19.206, Rue du Bugnon 46, Lausanne, Vaud 1011, Switzerland;
- Accepted 6 July 2011
- Published Online First 8 August 2011
It is well established that dysregulation of the interactions between the immune system and commensal bacteria is one factor that underpins the development and chronicity of a number of inflammatory diseases. Certain phyla of bacteria within the microbiota have been associated with ‘health’, but the mechanisms by which the presence of these bacteria supports a healthy environment are still being unravelled. Recent evidence indicates that one such mechanism involves the anti-inflammatory properties of fermentation products of fibre, short-chain fatty acids and their signalling through the G-protein coupled receptor GPR43. Recent findings also indicate that, even in health, bacterial communities harbour in the airways, indicating that direct exposure to bacterial products at this site may provide a further explanation for how commensal bacteria can regulate chronic airway inflammation.
Funding The author is a Cloetta Medical Research Fellow.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.