The mucosal immune system at the gastrointestinal barrier

Schenk, Mirjam; Mueller, Christoph (2008). The mucosal immune system at the gastrointestinal barrier. Best practice & research - clinical gastroenterology, 22(3), pp. 391-409. London: Baillière Tindall 10.1016/j.bpg.2007.11.002

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The immune system faces a considerable challenge in its efforts to maintain tissue homeostasis in the intestinal mucosa. It is constantly confronted with a large array of antigens, and has to prevent the dissemination and proliferation of potentially harmful agents while sparing the vital structures of the intestine from immune-mediated destruction. Complex interactions between the highly adapted effector cells and mechanisms of the innate and adaptive immune system generally prevent the luminal microflora from penetrating the intestinal mucosa and from spreading systemically. Non-haematopoietic cells critically contribute to the maintenance of local tissue homeostasis in an antigen-rich environment by producing protective factors (e.g. production of mucus by goblet cells, or secretion of microbicidal defensins by Paneth cells) and also through interactions with the adaptive and innate immune system (such as the production of chemotactic factors that lead to the selective recruitment of immune cell subsets). The complexity of the regulatory mechanisms that control the local immune response to luminal antigens is also reflected in the observation that mutations in immunologically relevant genes often lead to the development of uncontrolled inflammatory reactions in the microbially colonized intestine of experimental animals.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Pathology > Immunopathology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Pathology

UniBE Contributor:

Schenk, Mirjam, Müller, Christoph (C)






Baillière Tindall




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:03

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:33

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URI: (FactScience: 106200)

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