Pancreas-Microbiota Cross Talk in Health and Disease

Timon E Adolph, Lisa Mayr, Felix Grabherr, Julian Schwärzler, Herbert Tilg
Annual Review of Nutrition 2019 August 21, 39: 249-266
The pancreas controls metabolism through endocrine and exocrine functions. Pancreatic diseases comprise a spectrum of mild to life-threatening conditions, including acute and chronic pancreatitis, diabetes, and pancreatic cancer, which affect endocrine and exocrine pancreatic function and impose a substantial disease burden on individuals. Increasing experimental evidence demonstrates that the intestinal microbiota has an important impact on pancreatic function and diseases. This influence may be conferred by bacterial metabolites, such as short-chain fatty acids, or the modulation of immune responses. In turn, pancreatic factors, such as the excretion of antimicrobials, might have a substantial impact on the composition and functional properties of the gut microbiota. Here, we summarize experimental and clinical approaches used to untie the intricate pancreas-microbiota cross talk. Future advances will allow clinicians to manipulate the intestinal microbiota and guide patient management in pancreatic diseases.

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