Short-chain fatty acids ameliorate necrotizing enterocolitis-like intestinal injury through enhancing Notch1-mediated single immunoglobulin interleukin-1-related receptor, toll-interacting protein, and A20 induction.

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DOI: 10.1152/ajpgi.00057.2022


Single immunoglobulin interleukin-1-related receptor (SIGIRR), toll-interacting protein (TOLLIP), and A20 are major inhibitors of toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling induced postnatally in the neonatal intestine. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), fermentation products of indigestible carbohydrates produced by symbiotic bacteria, inhibit intestinal inflammation. Herein, we investigated the mechanisms by which SCFAs regulate SIGIRR, A20, and TOLLIP expression and mitigate experimental necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Butyrate induced NOTCH activation by repressing sirtuin 1 (SIRT1)-mediated deacetylation of the Notch intracellular domain (NICD) in human intestinal epithelial cells (HIECs). Overexpression of NICD induced SIGIRR, A20, and TOLLIP expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that butyrate-induced NICD binds to the SIGIRR, A20, and TOLLIP gene promoters. Notch1-shRNA suppressed butyrate-induced SIGIRR/A20 upregulation in mouse enteroids and HIEC. Flagellin (TLR5 agonist)-induced inflammation in HIEC was inhibited by butyrate in a SIGIRR-dependent manner. Neonatal mice fed butyrate had increased NICD, A20, SIGIRR, and TOLLIP expression in the ileal epithelium. Butyrate inhibited experimental NEC-induced intestinal apoptosis, cytokine expression, and histological injury. Our data suggest that SCFAs can regulate the expression of the major negative regulators of TLR signaling in the neonatal intestine through Notch1 and ameliorate experimental NEC. Enteral SCFAs supplementation in preterm infants provides a promising bacteria-free, therapeutic option for NEC.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), such as propionate and butyrate, metabolites produced by symbiotic gut bacteria are known to be anti-inflammatory, but the mechanisms by which they protect against NEC are not fully understood. In this study, we reveal that SCFAs regulate intestinal inflammation by inducing the key TLR and IL1R inhibitors, SIGIRR and A20, through activation of the pluripotent transcriptional factor NOTCH1. Butyrate-mediated SIGIRR and A20 induction represses experimental NEC in the neonatal intestine.

Journal Title

American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology





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MeSH Keywords

Infant, Newborn; Animals; Mice; Humans; Enterocolitis, Necrotizing; Receptors, Interleukin-1; Infant, Premature; Inflammation; Intestinal Mucosa; Fatty Acids, Volatile; Butyrates; Immunoglobulins; Interleukin-1; Receptor, Notch1; Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins


Notch1; butyrate; intestinal epithelium; necrotizing enterocolitis; short-chain fatty acids

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