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Curr Mol Med. 2005 Sep;5(6):549-56.

Mucosal epithelium in health and disease.

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  • 1Immunobiology Center, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 1425 Madison Avenue, Box 1089, New York, NY 10029, USA.


The intestinal epithelium has emerged as one of the links between the innate and adaptive immune systems. Novel roles have been elucidated for its participation in antigen uptake and presentation, costimulatory signaling, and intestinal homeostasis. Its concomitant interaction with immune cells and commensal flora demonstrates the epithelium's multifaceted responsibility in protecting against intestinal pathology while maintaining immune competence. Its functional capacity is now more clearly defined in disease states such as celiac disease, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis and in maintaining intestinal integrity through toll-like receptor signaling pathways.

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