Endocrine Reviews Journal Article

The Gut Microbiome Influences Host Endocrine Functions

May 13, 2019

Marialetizia Rastelli, Patrice D Cani, Claude Knauf
Endocrine Reviews, Volume 40, Issue 5, October 2019, Pages 1271–1284
https://doi.org/10.1210/er.2018-00280

Abstract

The gut microbiome is considered an organ contributing to the regulation of host metabolism. Since the relationship between the gut microbiome and specific diseases was elucidated, numerous studies have deciphered molecular mechanisms explaining how gut bacteria interact with host cells and eventually shape metabolism. Both metagenomic and metabolomic analyses have contributed to the discovery of bacterial-derived metabolites acting on host cells. In this review, we examine the molecular mechanisms by which bacterial metabolites act as paracrine or endocrine factors, thereby regulating host metabolism. We highlight the impact of specific short-chain fatty acids on the secretion of gut peptides (i.e., glucagon-like peptide-1, peptide YY) and other metabolites produced from different amino acids and regulating inflammation, glucose metabolism, or energy homeostasis. We also discuss the role of gut microbes on the regulation of bioactive lipids that belong to the endocannabinoid system and specific neurotransmitters (e.g., γ-aminobutyric acid, serotonin, nitric oxide). Finally, we review the role of specific bacterial components (i.e., ClpB, Amuc_1100) also acting as endocrine factors and eventually controlling host metabolism. In conclusion, this review summarizes the recent state of the art, aiming at providing evidence that the gut microbiome influences host endocrine functions via several bacteria-derived metabolites.

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