SCFAs (short-chain fatty acids) are produced by anaerobic bacterial fermentation. Increased concentrations of these fatty acids are observed in inflammatory conditions, such as periodontal disease, and at sites of anaerobic infection. In the present study, the effect of the SCFAs acetate, propionate and butyrate on neutrophil chemotaxis and migration was investigated. Experiments were carried out in rats and in vitro. The following parameters were measured: rolling, adherence, expression of adhesion molecules in neutrophils (L-selectin and β2 integrin), transmigration, air pouch influx of neutrophils and production of cytokines [CINC-2αβ (cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant-2αβ), IL-1β (interleukin-1β), MIP-1α (macrophage inflammatory protein-1α) and TNF-α (tumour necrosis factor-α)]. SCFAs induced in vivo neutrophil migration and increased the release of CINC-2αβ into the air pouch. These fatty acids increased the number of rolling and adhered cells as evaluated by intravital microscopy. SCFA treatment increased L-selectin expression on the neutrophil surface and L-selectin mRNA levels, but had no effect on the expression of β2 integrin. Propionate and butyrate also increased in vitro transmigration of neutrophils. These results indicate that SCFAs produced by anaerobic bacteria raise neutrophil migration through increased L-selectin expression on neutrophils and CINC-2αβ release.

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