Linking the Microbiota, Chronic Disease, and the Immune System

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Dec;27(12):831-843. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2016.08.003. Epub 2016 Sep 10.


Chronic inflammatory diseases (CIDs) are the most important causes of mortality in the world today and are on the rise. We now know that immune-driven inflammation is critical in the etiology of these diseases, though the environmental triggers and cellular mechanisms that lead to their development are still mysterious. Many CIDs are associated with significant shifts in the microbiota toward inflammatory configurations, which can affect the host both by inducing local and systemic inflammation and by alterations in microbiota-derived metabolites. This review discusses recent findings suggesting that shifts in the microbiota may contribute to chronic disease via effects on the immune system.

Keywords: dysbiosis; inflammasome; metabolic syndrome; microbiota.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chronic Disease
  • Dysbiosis / immunology
  • Dysbiosis / metabolism
  • Dysbiosis / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Immune System / metabolism*
  • Immune System / microbiology*
  • Inflammasomes / immunology
  • Inflammasomes / metabolism
  • Metabolic Syndrome / immunology
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Metabolic Syndrome / microbiology
  • Microbiota / immunology
  • Microbiota / physiology*


  • Inflammasomes