From microbe to man: the role of microbial short chain fatty acid metabolites in host cell biology

Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2014 Dec 1;307(11):C979-85. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00228.2014. Epub 2014 Oct 1.


Recent studies have highlighted a myriad of ways in which the activity and composition of the gut microbiota can affect the host organism. A primary way in which the gut microbiota affect host physiology is by the production of metabolites, such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are subsequently absorbed into the bloodstream of the host. Although recent studies have begun to unravel the ways in which gut microbial SCFAs affect host physiology, less is understood regarding the underlying cell biological mechanisms. In this review, we will outline the known receptors and transporters for SCFAs, and review what is known about the cell biological effects of microbial SCFAs.

Keywords: Gpr41; Gpr43; Olfr78; SCFAs; microbiota.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / chemistry*
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / metabolism*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / microbiology*
  • Humans


  • Fatty Acids, Volatile