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Dig Dis. 2012;30(4):334-40. doi: 10.1159/000338120. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

Commensal-innate immune miscommunication in IBD pathogenesis.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University Hospital of Essen, Medical School-University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.


Commensal microbiota plays a key role in the health and disease of the host. The innate immune system comprises an essential functional component of the intestinal mucosal barrier, maintaining hyporesponsiveness to omnipresent harmless commensals in the lumen, but rapidly recognizing and combating invading bacteria through diverse antimicrobial mechanisms. Interactions between commensals and innate immune cells are constant, multidimensional and entirely context-dependent. Environment, genetics and host defense differentially modulate commensal-innate immune effects and functions in the intestinal mucosa. In IBD, dysbiosis, mucus layer disruption, impairment in bacterial clearance, intestinal epithelial cell barrier dysfunction and/or immune cell deregulation may lead to commensal-innate immune miscommunication, which critically drives mucosal inflammation and associated cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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