Host- and Microbe-Dependent Dietary Lipid Metabolism in the Control of Allergy, Inflammation, and Immunity

Front Nutr. 2019 Apr 10;6:36. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00036. eCollection 2019.


The intestine is the largest immune organ in the body, provides the first line of defense against pathogens, and prevents excessive immune reactions to harmless or beneficial non-self-materials, such as food and intestinal bacteria. Allergic and inflammatory diseases in the intestine occur as a result of dysregulation of immunological homeostasis mediated by intestinal immunity. Several lines of evidence suggest that gut environmental factors, including nutrition and intestinal bacteria, play important roles in controlling host immune responses and maintaining homeostasis. Among nutritional factors, ω3 and ω6 essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) profoundly influence the host immune system. Recent advances in lipidomics technology have led to the identification of lipid mediators derived from ω3- and ω6-PUFAs. In particular, lipid metabolites from ω3-PUFAs (e.g., eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) have recently been shown to exert anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory responses; these metabolites include resolvins, protectins, and maresins. Furthermore, a new class of anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory lipid metabolites of 17,18-epoxyeicosatetraenoic acid has recently been identified in the control of allergic and inflammatory diseases in the gut and skin. Although these lipid metabolites were found to be endogenously generated in the host, accumulating evidence indicates that intestinal bacteria also participate in lipid metabolism and thus generate bioactive unique lipid mediators. In this review, we discuss the production machinery of lipid metabolites in the host and intestinal bacteria and the roles of these metabolites in the regulation of host immunity.

Keywords: allergy; dietary oil; inflammation; intestinal bacteria; intestinal immunity; lipid metabolites.

Publication types

  • Review