Gut microbiota in renal physiology: focus on short-chain fatty acids and their receptors

Kidney Int. 2016 Dec;90(6):1191-1198. doi: 10.1016/j.kint.2016.06.033. Epub 2016 Aug 26.


A number of recent studies have begun to explore a new and exciting area: the interaction between the gut microbiome and renal physiology. In particular, multiple studies have focused on the role of microbially produced short chain fatty acids, which are generally thought to promote health. This review will focus on what is known to date regarding the influence of the microbiome on renal function, with emphasis on the cell biology, physiology, and clinical implications of short chain fatty acids and short chain fatty acid receptors. It is clear that microbe-host interactions are an exciting and ever-expanding field, which has implications for how we view diseases such as hypertension, acute kidney injury, and chronic kidney disease. However, it is important to recognize that although the potential promise of this area is extremely enticing, we are only the very edge of this new field.

Keywords: acute kidney injury; antibiotics; cell signaling; chronic kidney disease.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile / metabolism*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism*


  • Fatty Acids, Volatile