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Nat Rev Immunol. 2005 May;5(5):413-20. doi: 10.1038/nri1600.

Inducible lymphoid tissues in the adult gut: recapitulation of a fetal developmental pathway?

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Laboratory of Lymphoid Tissue Development, Institut Pasteur, 25 rue du Dr. Roux, 75724 Paris, France.


The intestinal immune system faces an extraordinary challenge from the large numbers of commensal bacteria and potential pathogens that are restrained by only a single layer of epithelial cells. Here, I discuss evidence that the intestinal immune system develops an extensive network of inducible, reversible lymphoid tissues that contributes to the vital equilibrium between the gut and the bacterial flora. I propose that this network is induced by cryptopatches, which are small clusters of dendritic cells and lymphoid cells that are identical to fetal inducers of lymph-node and Peyer's-patch development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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