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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2015 Jan;50(1):3-12. doi: 10.3109/00365521.2014.971425.

Intestinal barrier homeostasis in inflammatory bowel disease.

Author information

1
Medical Clinic, Section of Gastroenterology, University Hospital of North Norway , Tromsø , Norway.

Abstract

The single-cell thick intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) lining with its protective layer of mucus is the primary barrier protecting the organism from the harsh environment of the intestinal lumen. Today it is clear that the balancing act necessary to maintain intestinal homeostasis is dependent on the coordinated action of all cell types of the IEC, and that there are no passive bystanders to gut immunity solely acting as absorptive or regenerative cells: Mucin and antimicrobial peptides on the epithelial surface are continually being replenished by goblet and Paneth's cells. Luminal antigens are being sensed by pattern recognition receptors on the enterocytes. The enteroendocrine cells sense the environment and coordinate the intestinal function by releasing neuropeptides acting both on IEC and inflammatory cells. All this while cells are continuously and rapidly being regenerated from a limited number of stem cells close to the intestinal crypt base. This review seeks to describe the cell types and structures of the intestinal epithelial barrier supporting intestinal homeostasis, and how disturbance in these systems might relate to inflammatory bowel disease.

KEYWORDS:

homeostasis; inflammatory bowel disease; intestinal epithelial barrier

PMID:
25523551
DOI:
10.3109/00365521.2014.971425
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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