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Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 Jun;8(6):411-20. doi: 10.1038/nri2316.

Epithelial-cell recognition of commensal bacteria and maintenance of immune homeostasis in the gut.

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  • 1Department of Pathobiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Philadelphia 19104-4539, USA. dartis@vet.upenn.edu

Abstract

Mucosal surfaces such as the intestinal tract are continuously exposed to both potential pathogens and beneficial commensal microorganisms. This creates a requirement for a homeostatic balance between tolerance and immunity that represents a unique regulatory challenge to the mucosal immune system. Recent findings suggest that intestinal epithelial cells, although once considered a simple physical barrier, are a crucial cell lineage for maintaining intestinal immune homeostasis. This Review discusses recent findings that identify a cardinal role for epithelial cells in sampling the intestinal microenvironment, discriminating pathogenic and commensal microorganisms and influencing the function of antigen-presenting cells and lymphocytes.

PMID:
18469830
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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