Functional foods: Edited by Nathalie M. Delzenne and Peter StehleButyrate and other short-chain fatty acids as modulators of immunity: what relevance for health?Meijer, Keesa; de Vos, Paulb; Priebe, Marion Ga Author Information aCenter for Medical Biomics, The Netherlands bDepartment of Pathology and Medical Biology, Section of Immunoendocrinology, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands Correspondence to Dr Marion G. Priebe, Center for Medical Biomics, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Antonius Deusinglaan 1, 9713 AV Groningen, The Netherlands Tel: +31 50 361 9386; fax: +31 50 363 8971; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: November 2010 - Volume 13 - Issue 6 - p 715-721 doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32833eebe5 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review High-fiber diets have been shown to reduce plasma concentrations of inflammation markers. Increased production of fermentation-derived short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) is one of the factors that could exert these positive effects. This review examines the effects of SCFAs on immune cells and discusses the relevance of their effects on systemic inflammation, as frequently seen in obesity. Recent findings SCFAs have been shown to reduce chemotaxis and cell adhesion; this effect is dependent on type and concentration of SCFA. In spite of conflicting results, especially butyrate seems to have an anti-inflammatory effect, mediated by signaling pathways like nuclear factor-κB and inhibition of histone deacetylase. The discrepancies in the results could be explained by differences in cell types used and their proliferative and differentiation status. Summary SCFAs show anti-inflammatory effects and seem to have the potency to prevent infiltration of immune cells from the bloodstream in, for example, the adipose tissue. In addition, their ability to inhibit the proliferation and activation of T cells and to prevent adhesion of antigen-presenting cells could be important as it recently has been shown that obesity-associated inflammation might be antigen-dependent. More studies with concentrations in micromolar range are needed to approach more physiological concentrations. © 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.