Rapidly expanding knowledge on the role of the gut microbiome in health and disease

M. C. Cenit, V. Matzaraki, E. F. Tigchelaar-Feenstra, A. Zhernakova*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The human gut is colonized by a wide diversity of micro-organisms, which are now known to play a key role in the human host by regulating metabolic functions and immune homeostasis. Many studies have indicated that the genomes of our gut microbiota, known as the gut microbiome or our "other genome" could play an important role in immune-related, complex diseases, and growing evidence supports a causal role for gut microbiota in regulating predisposition to diseases. A comprehensive analysis of the human gut microbiome is thus important to unravel the exact mechanisms by which the gut microbiota are involved in health and disease. Recent advances in next-generation sequencing technology, along with the development of metagenomics and bioinformatics tools, have provided opportunities to characterize the microbial communities. Furthermore, studies using germ-free animals have shed light on how the gut microbiota are involved in autoimmunity. In this review we describe the different approaches used to characterize the human microbiome, review current knowledge about the gut microbiome, and discuss the role of gut microbiota in immune homeostasis and autoimmunity. Finally, we indicate how this knowledge could be used to improve human health by manipulating the gut microbiota. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: From Genome to Function. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1981-1992
Number of pages12
JournalBiochimica et biophysica acta-Molecular basis of disease
Volume1842
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2014

Keywords

  • Microbiome
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • Meta-omics
  • Autoimmunity
  • INFLAMMATORY-BOWEL-DISEASE
  • PERIPHERAL-BLOOD NEUTROPHILS
  • HUMAN INTESTINAL MACROPHAGES
  • INNATE LYMPHOID-CELLS
  • GERM-FREE RATS
  • FECAL MICROBIOTA
  • CROHNS-DISEASE
  • RHEUMATOID-ARTHRITIS
  • T-CELLS
  • NKP46(+) CELLS

Cite this