There is growing appreciation that functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) such as functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome are heterogeneous conditions linked by subtle inflammation within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The literature suggests that while the symptoms of these diseases may manifest with similar clinical presentations, there are significant differences in triggers and disease severity among patients classified into the same subtype. It is hypothesized that the subtle inflammation observed in these patients is related to an imbalance in GI homeostasis. Disruption of the delicate homeostatic balance within the GI tract can result from any number or combination of factors, including dysbiosis, loss of barrier integrity, genetic predisposition, or immune responses to dietary or luminal antigens. This article discusses the interplay between the immune system, microbiota, and luminal environment in FGIDs. In addition, the article proposes emerging immune pathways, including those involving T-helper type 17 response and innate lymphoid cells, as potential regulators of the subtle inflammation characteristic of FGIDs that warrant investigation in future studies.
PMID: 31802978 [PubMed]