Nonpathogenic commensal microbiota and their metabolites and components are essential to maintain a tolerogenic environment and promote beneficial health effects. The metabolic environment critically impacts the outcome of immune responses and likely impacts autoimmune and allergic responses. Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are the main metabolites produced by microbial fermentation in the gut. Given the high concentration of SCFAs in the gut and portal vein and their broad immune regulatory functions, SCFAs significantly influence immune tolerance and gut–liver immunity. Alterations of SCFA-producing bacteria and SCFAs have been identified in a multitude of inflammatory diseases. These data have particular significance in primary biliary cholangitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and autoimmune hepatitis because of the close proximity of the liver to the gut. In this focused review, we provide an update on the immunologic consequences of SCFA-producing microbiota and in particular on three dominant SCFAs in autoimmune liver diseases.

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