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See detailSystems biology of host-microbe metabolomics
Heinken, Almut Katrin UL; Thiele, Ines UL

in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine (2015)

The human gut microbiota performs essential functions for host and wellbeing, but has also been linked to a variety of disease states, e.g., obesity and type 2 diabetes. The mammalian body fluid and ... [more ▼]

The human gut microbiota performs essential functions for host and wellbeing, but has also been linked to a variety of disease states, e.g., obesity and type 2 diabetes. The mammalian body fluid and tissue metabolomes are greatly influenced by the microbiota, with many health-relevant metabolites being considered “mammalian-microbial co-metabolites”. To systematically investigate this complex host-microbial co-metabolism, a systems biology approach integrating high-throughput data and computational network models is required. Here, we review established top-down and bottom-up systems biology approaches that have successfully elucidated relationships between gut microbiota-derived metabolites and host health and disease. We particularly focus on the constraint-based modeling and analysis approach, which enables the prediction of mechanisms behind metabolic host-microbe interactions on the molecular level. We illustrate that constraint-based models are a useful tool for the contextualization of metabolomic measurements and can further our insight into host-microbe interactions, yielding, e.g., in potential novel drugs and biomarkers. [less ▲]

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See detailThe role of regulatory T cells in neurodegenerative diseases.
He, Feng UL; Balling, Rudi UL

in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Systems Biology and Medicine (2013), 5(2), 153-80

A sustained neuroinflammatory response is the hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and HIV ... [more ▼]

A sustained neuroinflammatory response is the hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and HIV-associated neurodegeneration. A specific subset of T cells, currently recognized as FOXP3(+) CD25(+) CD4(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs), are pivotal in suppressing autoimmunity and maintaining immune homeostasis by mediating self-tolerance at the periphery as shown in autoimmune diseases and cancers. A growing body of evidence shows that Tregs are not only important for maintaining immune balance at the periphery but also contribute to self-tolerance and immune privilege in the central nervous system. In this article, we first review the current status of knowledge concerning the development and the suppressive function of Tregs. We then discuss the evidence supporting a dysfunction of Tregs in several neurodegenerative diseases. Interestingly, a dysfunction of Tregs is mainly observed in the early stages of several neurodegenerative diseases, but not in their chronic stages, pointing to a causative role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. Furthermore, we provide an overview of a number of molecules, such as hormones, neuropeptides, neurotransmitters, or ion channels, that affect the dysfunction of Tregs in neurodegenerative diseases. We also emphasize the effects of the intestinal microbiome on the induction and function of Tregs and the need to study the crosstalk between the enteric nervous system and Tregs in neurodegenerative diseases. Finally, we point out the need for a systems biology approach in the analysis of the enormous complexity regulating the function of Tregs and their potential role in neurodegenerative diseases. [less ▲]

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