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Nat Rev Immunol. 2003 Apr;3(4):331-41.

Anatomical basis of tolerance and immunity to intestinal antigens.

Author information

1
Department of Immunology and Bacteriology, Western Infirmary, Glasgow G11 6NT, UK. a.m.mowat@clinmed.gla.ac.uk

Abstract

The intestinal immune system has to discriminate between harmful and beneficial antigens. Although strong protective immunity is essential to prevent invasion by pathogens, equivalent responses against dietary proteins or commensal bacteria can lead to chronic disease. These responses are normally prevented by a complex interplay of regulatory mechanisms. This article reviews the unique aspects of the local microenvironment of the intestinal immune system and discuss how these promote the development of regulatory responses that ensure the maintenance of homeostasis in the gut.

PMID:
12669023
DOI:
10.1038/nri1057
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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