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Science. 2005 Jun 3;308(5727):1463-5.

Accelerated intestinal epithelial cell turnover: a new mechanism of parasite expulsion.

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Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PT, UK.


The functional integrity of the intestinal epithelial barrier forms a major defense against invading pathogens, including gastrointestinal-dwelling nematodes, which are ubiquitous in their distribution worldwide. Here, we show that an increase in the rate of epithelial cell turnover in the large intestine acts like an "epithelial escalator" to expel Trichuris and that the rate of epithelial cell movement is under immune control by the cytokine interleukin-13 and the chemokine CXCL10. This host protective mechanism against intestinal pathogens has implications for our wider understanding of the multifunctional role played by intestinal epithelium in mucosal defense.

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