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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2005 Jun;62(12):1308-21.

A marvel of mucosal T cells and secretory antibodies for the creation of first lines of defense.

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Division of Mucosal Immunology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.


The mucosal immune system acts as a first line of defense against bacterial and viral infections while also playing a crucial role in the establishment and maintenance of mucosal homeostasis between the host and the outside environment. In addition to epithelial cells and antigen-presenting cells (dendritic cells and macrophages), B and T lymphocytes form a dynamic mucosal network for the induction and regulation of secretory IgA (S-IgA) and cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses. This review seeks to shed light on the pathways of induction and regulation of these responses and to elucidate the role they simultaneously play in fending off pathogen invasion and maintaining mucosal homeostasis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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