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N Am J Med Sci. 2011 May;3(5):217-21. doi: 10.4297/najms.2011.3217.

Role of TIM-4 in innate or adaptive immune response.

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Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada.


Human being living in constant contact with microbes and pathogen and in the process has developed a recognition pattern of pathogenic structure in the immune cells. The gut lumen has high density of microbes thus the immune response is slightly tolerable to certain microbes, known as commensal flora. These microbes along with other innocuous agents do not cause any inflammation response normally, and are considered as harmless by the immune cells. In immune hypersensitivity condition, such as colitis or food allergy, this mechanism is disturbed. T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain (TIM)-4 is a phosphatidylserine receptor expressed in mature antigen presenting cells. It is shown that TIM-4 and its ligand TIM-1 are associated in intestinal immune response. However the characteristic of TIM-4 sometimes seems to be two-faced and there is a possibility that TIM-4 also bind to other ligands.


Immunity; Inflammation; TIM-4

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