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Nat Rev Immunol. 2014 Mar;14(3):141-53. doi: 10.1038/nri3608.

Intestinal epithelial cells: regulators of barrier function and immune homeostasis.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Institute for Immunology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.
2
1] Department of Microbiology and Institute for Immunology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. [2] Department of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA.

Abstract

The abundance of innate and adaptive immune cells that reside together with trillions of beneficial commensal microorganisms in the mammalian gastrointestinal tract requires barrier and regulatory mechanisms that conserve host-microbial interactions and tissue homeostasis. This homeostasis depends on the diverse functions of intestinal epithelial cells (IECs), which include the physical segregation of commensal bacteria and the integration of microbial signals. Hence, IECs are crucial mediators of intestinal homeostasis that enable the establishment of an immunological environment permissive to colonization by commensal bacteria. In this Review, we provide a comprehensive overview of how IECs maintain host-commensal microbial relationships and immune cell homeostasis in the intestine.

PMID:
24566914
DOI:
10.1038/nri3608
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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