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Curr Opin Immunol. 2012 Feb;24(1):3-9. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2011.10.004. Epub 2012 Jan 9.

Immune defense mechanisms in the Caenorhabditis elegans intestinal epithelium.

Author information

1
Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA. rpukkilaworley@partners.org

Abstract

Intestinal epithelial cells provide an essential line of defense for Caernohabditis elegans against ingested pathogens. Because nematodes consume microorganisms as their food source, there has presumably been selection pressure to evolve and maintain immune defense mechanisms within the intestinal epithelium. Here we review recent advances that further define the immune signaling network within these cells and suggest mechanisms used by the nematode to monitor for infection. In reviewing studies of pathogenesis that use this simple model system, we hope to illustrate some of the basic principles of epithelial immunity that may also be of relevance in higher order hosts.

PMID:
22236697
PMCID:
PMC3660727
DOI:
10.1016/j.coi.2011.10.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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