Reference Number: 376
Nutrition: Short chain fatty acids
T cells are central players in the regulation of adaptive immunity and immune tolerance. In the periphery, T cell differentiation for maturation and effector function is regulated by a number of factors. Various factors such as antigens, co-stimulation signals, and cytokines regulate T cell differentiation into functionally specialized effector and regulatory T cells. Other factors such as nutrients, micronutrients, nuclear hormones and microbial products provide important environmental cues for T cell differentiation. A mounting body of evidence indicates that the microbial metabolites short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) have profound effects on T cells and directly and indirectly regulate their differentiation. We review the current status of our understanding of SCFA functions in regulation of peripheral T cell activity and discuss their impact on tissue inflammation.