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Messages from the inside. The dynamic environment that favors intestinal homeostasis


Eri, RD and Chieppa, M, Messages from the inside. The dynamic environment that favors intestinal homeostasis, Frontiers in Immunology, 4 pp. 1-7. ISSN 1664-3224 (2013) [Substantial Review]

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DOI: doi:10.3389/fimmu.2013.00323


An organism is defined as "an individual living thing capable of responding to stimuli, growing, reproducing, and maintaining homeostasis." Early during evolution multicellular organisms explored the advantages of a symbiotic life. Mammals harbor a complex aggregate of microorganisms (called microbiota) that includes bacteria, fungi, and archaea. Some of these bacteria have already defined beneficial roles for the human host that include the ability to break down nutrients that could not otherwise be digested, preventing the growth of harmful species, as well as the ability to produce vitamins or hormones. It is intuitive that along the evolutionary path several mechanisms favored bacteria that provided advantages to the host which, in return, avoided launching an aggressive immunological response against them. The intestinal immunological response does not ignore the lumenal content, on the contrary, immune surveillance is favored by continuous antigen sampling. Some intestinal epithelial cells (ECs) are crucial during the sampling process, others actively participate in the defense mechanism. In essence the epithelium acts as a traffic light, communicating to the inside world whether conditions are safe or dangerous, and thus influencing immunological response. In this review we will discuss the dynamic factors that act on the intestinal ECs and how they directly or indirectly influence immune cells during states of health and disease.

Item Details

Item Type:Substantial Review
Keywords:mucosal immunology, intestinal evolution, DCs, intestinal epithelial cells, intestinal inflammation
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Genetics
Research Field:Genetic immunology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Eri, RD (Associate Professor Raj Eri)
ID Code:86764
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Health Sciences A
Deposited On:2013-10-21
Last Modified:2014-02-07

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