Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) butyrate and propionate are metabolites from dietary fiber's fermentation by gut microbiota that can affect differentiation or functions of T cells, macrophages and dendritic cells. We show here that at low doses these SCFAs directly impact B cell intrinsic functions to moderately enhance class-switch DNA recombination (CSR), while decreasing at higher doses over a broad physiological range, AID and Blimp1 expression, CSR, somatic hypermutation and plasma cell differentiation. In human and mouse B cells, butyrate and propionate decrease B cell Aicda and Prdm1 by upregulating select miRNAs that target Aicda and Prdm1 mRNA-3'UTRs through inhibition of histone deacetylation (HDAC) of those miRNA host genes. By acting as HDAC inhibitors, not as energy substrates or through GPR-engagement signaling in these B cell-intrinsic processes, these SCFAs impair intestinal and systemic T-dependent and T-independent antibody responses. Their epigenetic impact on B cells extends to inhibition of autoantibody production and autoimmunity in mouse lupus models.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare no competing interests.
Genome-Wide Analysis Reveals Selective Modulation of microRNAs and mRNAs by Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor in B Cells Induced to Undergo Class-Switch DNA Recombination and Plasma Cell DifferentiationT Shen et al. Front Immunol 6, 627. PMID 26697020.As we have suggested, epigenetic factors, such as microRNAs (miRNAs), can interact with genetic programs to regulate B cell functions, thereby informing antibody and auto …
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