Supplementary files to BM2022.0113: Short-chain fatty acids inhibit the activation of T lymphocytes and myeloid cells and induce innate immune tolerance
The intestinal microbiota contributes to gut immune homeostasis, where short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) function as the major mediators. We aimed to elucidate the immunomodulatory effects of acetate, propionate, and butyrate. With that in mind, we sought to characterise the expression of SCFA receptors and transporters as well as SCFAs' impact on the activation of different immune cells. Whereas all three SCFAs decreased tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α production in activated T cells, only butyrate and propionate inhibited interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-17, IL-13, and IL-10 production. Butyrate and propionate inhibited the expression of the chemokine receptors CCR9 and CCR10 in activated T- and B-cells, respectively. Similarly, butyrate and propionate were effective inhibitors of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-10 production in myeloid cells upon lipopolysaccharide and R848 stimulation. Acetate was less efficient at inhibiting cytokine production except for IFN-α. Moreover, SCFAs inhibited the production of IL-6 and TNF-α in monocytes, myeloid dendritic cells (mDC), and plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC), whereas acetate effects were relatively more prominent in pDCs. In monocytes and mDCs, acetate was a less efficient inhibitor, but it was equally effective in inhibiting pDCs activation. We also studied the ability of SCFAs to induce trained immunity or tolerance. Butyrate and propionate – but not acetate – prevented Toll-like receptor-mediated activation in SCFA-trained cells, as demonstrated by a reduced production of IL-6 and TNF-α. Our findings indicate that butyrate and propionate are equally efficient in inhibiting the adaptive and innate immune response and did not induce trained immunity. The findings may be explained by differential SCFA receptor and transporter expression profiles of the immune cells.