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Med Sci (Paris). 2017 Mar;33(3):290-296. doi: 10.1051/medsci/20173303016. Epub 2017 Apr 3.

[Contribution of autophagy to intestinal homeostasis and pathology].

[Article in French]

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Inserm, U1016, Institut Cochin, département développement, reproduction et cancer, équipe oncogenèse des épithéliums digestifs, 24, rue du faubourg Saint-Jacques, 75014 Paris, France - Cnrs, UMR8104, Paris, France - Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, France.


The intestinal epithelial cells are crucial mediators of intestinal homeostasis. The intestinal epithelium is the largest of the body's mucosal surfaces exposed to the environment. Intestinal homeostasis is essentially based on the maintenance of intestinal epithelial cell integrity, a complex process involving a balance between the intestinal flora, the immune system and the energy expenses linked to metabolism. Autophagy appears to be central to these functions and allows the epithelium to adapt to its environment and different stress situations by participating in antibacterial defense, by controlling the composition of the intestinal flora and the immune response, and by participating in energy homeostasis. Alterations of this protective mechanism are involved in inflammatory bowel diseases and colorectal cancer.

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