Regional specialization within the intestinal immune system.

Allan Mowat, William Agace

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

709 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The intestine represents the largest compartment of the immune system. It is continually exposed to antigens and immunomodulatory agents from the diet and the commensal microbiota, and it is the port of entry for many clinically important pathogens. Intestinal immune processes are also increasingly implicated in controlling disease development elsewhere in the body. In this Review, we detail the anatomical and physiological distinctions that are observed in the small and large intestines, and we suggest how these may account for the diversity in the immune apparatus that is seen throughout the intestine. We describe how the distribution of innate, adaptive and innate-like immune cells varies in different segments of the intestine and discuss the environmental factors that may influence this. Finally, we consider the implications of regional immune specialization for inflammatory disease in the intestine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)667-685
JournalNature Reviews. Immunology
Volume14
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Immunology in the medical area

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