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Mucosal Immunol. 2009 Nov;2(6):478-85. doi: 10.1038/mi.2009.114. Epub 2009 Sep 9.

The development of intestinal lymphoid tissues at the interface of self and microbiota.

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  • 1Institut Pasteur, Laboratory of Lymphoid Tissue Development, CNRS URA1961, Paris, France. gerard.eberl@pasteur.fr

Abstract

Intestinal lymphoid tissues face the challenging task of inducing adaptive immunity to pathogens, yet maintaining homeostasis with the enormous commensal microbiota. To that aim, the ancient partnership between self and flora has resulted in the generation of a unique set of lymphoid tissues capable of constant large-scale reformatting. A first set of lymphoid tissues, the mesenteric lymph nodes and Peyer's patches, are programmed to develop in the sterile environment of the fetus, whereas a second set of lymphoid tissues, the tertiary lymphoid tissues, are induced to form by the microbiota and inflammation. The diversity of intestinal lymphoid tissues confers the flexibility required to adapt the number of immune inductive sites to the size of the flora and the extent of the pathogenic threat. The result is a functional superorganism combining self and microbes for the best possible symbiosis.

PMID:
19741595
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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