Free Fatty Acid Receptors as new potential therapeutic target in inflammatory bowel diseases

Pharmacol Res. 2020 Feb:152:104604. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2019.104604. Epub 2019 Dec 14.


Family of Free Fatty Acid Receptors (FFARs), specific G protein-coupled receptors comprises of four members: FFAR1-4, where each responds to different chain length of fatty acids (FAs). Over the years, FFARs have become attractive pharmacological targets in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases and asthma; recent studies also point to their role in inflammation. It is now well-established that activation of FFAR1 and FFAR4 by long and medium chain FAs may lead to reduction of inflammatory state; FFAR2 and FFAR3 are activated by short chain FAs, but only FFAR2 was shown to alleviate inflammation, mostly by neutrophil inhibition. All FFARs have thus been proposed as targets in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Here we discuss current knowledge and future directions in FFAR research related to IBD.

Keywords: Fatty acids; Free Fatty Acids Receptors; G protein-coupled receptors; Inflammatory bowel disease.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / drug therapy
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / metabolism*
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • FFAR1 protein, human
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled