The human intestinal lumen represents one of the most densely populated microbial niches in the biological world and, as a result, the intestinal innate immune system exists in a constant state of stimulation. A key component in the innate defence system is the intestinal epithelial layer, which acts not only as a physical barrier, but also as an immune sensor. The expression of pattern recognition receptors, such as Toll-like receptors, in epithelial cells allows innate recognition of a wide range of highly conserved bacterial moieties, termed microbial-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs), from both pathogenic and non-pathogenic bacteria. To date, studies of epithelial immunity have largely concentrated on inflammatory pathogenic antigens; however, this review discusses the major types of MAMPs likely to be produced by the enteric bacterial microbiota and, using data from in vitro studies, animal model systems and clinical observations, speculates on their immunomodulatory potential.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Microbiology (United Kingdom)|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2013|