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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2011, Article ID 971938, 16 pages
Review Article

Probiotics, Nuclear Receptor Signaling, and Anti-Inflammatory Pathways

1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester Mediacal Center, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY 14642, USA
2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester, P.O. Box 646, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14642, USA

Received 2 February 2011; Revised 28 March 2011; Accepted 19 May 2011

Academic Editor: Genevieve B. Melton-Meaux

Copyright © 2011 Sonia S. Yoon and Jun Sun. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There is increased investigation of the human microbiome as it relates to health and disease. Dysbiosis is implicated in various clinical conditions including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Probiotics have been explored as a potential treatment for IBD and other diseases. The mechanism of action for probiotics has yet to be fully elucidated. This paper discusses novel mechanisms of action for probiotics involving anti-inflammatory signaling pathways. We highlight recent progress in probiotics and nuclear receptor signaling, such as peroxisome-proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) and vitamin D receptor (VDR). We also discuss future areas of investigation.