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      The Impact of Western Diet and Nutrients on the Microbiota and Immune Response at Mucosal Interfaces

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          Abstract

          Recent findings point toward diet having a major impact on human health. Diets can either affect the gut microbiota resulting in alterations in the host’s physiological responses or by directly targeting the host response. The microbial community in the mammalian gut is a complex and dynamic system crucial for the development and maturation of both systemic and mucosal immune responses. Therefore, the complex interaction between available nutrients, the microbiota, and the immune system are central regulators in maintaining homeostasis and fighting against invading pathogens at mucosal sites. Westernized diet, defined as high dietary intake of saturated fats and sucrose and low intake of fiber, represent a growing health risk contributing to the increased occurrence of metabolic diseases, e.g., diabetes and obesity in countries adapting a westernized lifestyle. Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and asthma are chronic mucosal inflammatory conditions of unknown etiology with increasing prevalence worldwide. These conditions have a multifactorial etiology including genetic factors, environmental factors, and dysregulated immune responses. Their increased prevalence cannot solely be attributed to genetic considerations implying that other factors such as diet can be a major contributor. Recent reports indicate that the gut microbiota and modifications thereof, due to a consumption of a diet high in saturated fats and low in fibers, can trigger factors regulating the development and/or progression of both conditions. While asthma is a disease of the airways, increasing evidence indicates a link between the gut and airways in disease development. Herein, we provide a comprehensive review on the impact of westernized diet and associated nutrients on immune cell responses and the microbiota and how these can influence the pathology of IBD and asthma.

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          Diet rapidly and reproducibly alters the human gut microbiome

          Long-term diet influences the structure and activity of the trillions of microorganisms residing in the human gut 1–5 , but it remains unclear how rapidly and reproducibly the human gut microbiome responds to short-term macronutrient change. Here, we show that the short-term consumption of diets composed entirely of animal or plant products alters microbial community structure and overwhelms inter-individual differences in microbial gene expression. The animal-based diet increased the abundance of bile-tolerant microorganisms (Alistipes, Bilophila, and Bacteroides) and decreased the levels of Firmicutes that metabolize dietary plant polysaccharides (Roseburia, Eubacterium rectale, and Ruminococcus bromii). Microbial activity mirrored differences between herbivorous and carnivorous mammals 2 , reflecting trade-offs between carbohydrate and protein fermentation. Foodborne microbes from both diets transiently colonized the gut, including bacteria, fungi, and even viruses. Finally, increases in the abundance and activity of Bilophila wadsworthia on the animal-based diet support a link between dietary fat, bile acids, and the outgrowth of microorganisms capable of triggering inflammatory bowel disease 6 . In concert, these results demonstrate that the gut microbiome can rapidly respond to altered diet, potentially facilitating the diversity of human dietary lifestyles.
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            From Dietary Fiber to Host Physiology: Short-Chain Fatty Acids as Key Bacterial Metabolites.

            A compelling set of links between the composition of the gut microbiota, the host diet, and host physiology has emerged. Do these links reflect cause-and-effect relationships, and what might be their mechanistic basis? A growing body of work implicates microbially produced metabolites as crucial executors of diet-based microbial influence on the host. Here, we will review data supporting the diverse functional roles carried out by a major class of bacterial metabolites, the short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFAs can directly activate G-coupled-receptors, inhibit histone deacetylases, and serve as energy substrates. They thus affect various physiological processes and may contribute to health and disease.
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              Metabolites produced by commensal bacteria promote peripheral regulatory T cell generation

              Intestinal microbes provide multicellular hosts with nutrients and confer resistance to infection. The delicate balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory mechanisms, essential for gut immune homeostasis, is affected by the composition of the commensal microbial community. Regulatory T (Treg) cells expressing transcription factor Foxp3 play a key role in limiting inflammatory responses in the intestine 1 . Although specific members of the commensal microbial community have been found to potentiate the generation of anti-inflammatory Treg or pro-inflammatory Th17 cells 2-6 , the molecular cues driving this process remain elusive. Considering the vital metabolic function afforded by commensal microorganisms, we hypothesized that their metabolic by-products are sensed by cells of the immune system and affect the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cells. We found that a short-chain fatty acid (SCFA), butyrate, produced by commensal microorganisms during starch fermentation, facilitated extrathymic generation of Treg cells. A boost in Treg cell numbers upon provision of butyrate was due to potentiation of extrathymic differentiation of Treg cells as the observed phenomenon was dependent upon intronic enhancer CNS1, essential for extrathymic, but dispensable for thymic Treg cell differentiation 1, 7 . In addition to butyrate, de novo Treg cell generation in the periphery was potentiated by propionate, another SCFA of microbial origin capable of HDAC inhibition, but not acetate, lacking this activity. Our results suggest that bacterial metabolites mediate communication between the commensal microbiota and the immune system, affecting the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory mechanisms.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Front Immunol
                Front Immunol
                Front. Immunol.
                Frontiers in Immunology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                1664-3224
                28 July 2017
                2017
                : 8
                : 838
                Affiliations
                [1] 1APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork , Cork, Ireland
                [2] 2School of Microbiology, University College Cork , Cork, Ireland
                Author notes

                Edited by: Raquel Hontecillas, Virginia Tech, United States

                Reviewed by: Mourad Aribi, University of Tlemcen, Algeria; Christopher Alan Jolly, University of Texas at Austin, United States

                *Correspondence: Silvia Melgar, s.melgar@ 123456ucc.ie

                Specialty section: This article was submitted to Nutritional Immunology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Immunology

                Article
                10.3389/fimmu.2017.00838
                5532387
                28804483
                e34254cb-cf50-40db-b748-27b558712caa
                Copyright © 2017 Statovci, Aguilera, MacSharry and Melgar.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                History
                : 31 January 2017
                : 03 July 2017
                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 263, Pages: 21, Words: 18573
                Funding
                Funded by: Science Foundation Ireland 10.13039/501100001602
                Award ID: SFI/12/RC/2273
                Categories
                Immunology
                Review

                Immunology
                westernized diet,inflammatory bowel disease,asthma,saturated fat,micronutrients,microbiota
                Immunology
                westernized diet, inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, saturated fat, micronutrients, microbiota

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