Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2014, Article ID 689492, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/689492
Review Article

The Central Role of the Gut Microbiota in Chronic Inflammatory Diseases

1Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, ICB-1, Sao Paulo University, 05508-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2Department of Genetics, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil
3Department of Genetics, Evolution and Bioagents, Institute of Biology, University of Campinas, 13083-970 Campinas, SP, Brazil
4Department of Biological Sciences, Section of Physiology and Pharmacology, Federal University of Sao Paulo, 09913-030 Diadema, SP, Brazil
5Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, ICB-1, Sao Paulo University, 05508-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
6Department of Microbiology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, 31270-901 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

Received 16 July 2014; Accepted 28 August 2014; Published 18 September 2014

Academic Editor: Borja Sánchez

Copyright © 2014 Caroline Marcantonio Ferreira et al. 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.

Abstract

The commensal microbiota is in constant interaction with the immune system, teaching immune cells to respond to antigens. Studies in mice have demonstrated that manipulation of the intestinal microbiota alters host immune cell homeostasis. Additionally, metagenomic-sequencing analysis has revealed alterations in intestinal microbiota in patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, and obesity. Perturbations in the microbiota composition result in a deficient immune response and impaired tolerance to commensal microorganisms. Due to altered microbiota composition which is associated to some inflammatory diseases, several strategies, such as the administration of probiotics, diet, and antibiotic usage, have been utilized to prevent or ameliorate chronic inflammatory diseases. The purpose of this review is to present and discuss recent evidence showing that the gut microbiota controls immune system function and onset, development, and resolution of some common inflammatory diseases.