Innate immune defenses in the intestinal tract

Sara Dann-Grice, Lars Eckmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Innate intestinal defenses are important for protection against ingested and commensal microbes. This review highlights recent new insights into innate immune effectors in the intestine. RECENT FINDINGS: Intestinal epithelial cells, particularly Paneth cells, are the major producers of multiple peptides and proteins with antimicrobial activity in the intestine. The most abundant and diverse of these are the defensins. They are highly microbicidal in vitro and probably important in vivo, yet their physiologic functions remain incompletely understood. Relative defensin deficiency may be a risk factor for Crohn's disease and infectious diarrhea. Cathelicidin contributes to mucosal defense against epithelial-adherent bacterial pathogens, and helps to set a threshold for productive infection. Bactericidal/ permeability-inducing protein has lipopolysaccharide-neutralizing capacity and kills bacteria when overexpressed in epithelial cells. Resistin-like molecule β is important in mucosal defense against helminths due to its ability to inhibit worm chemotaxis. Antimicrobial lectins, particularly hepatocarcinoma-intestine-pancreas/pancreatic-associated protein, RegIII, and intelectin, can lyse bacteria or interfere with their attachment to epithelial cells. SUMMARY: Discovery of an expanding set of antimicrobial effectors supports the evolutionary importance of innate intestinal defenses against microbial threats, but also underlines the physiologic and pharmacologic need for a better understanding of the respective functions of these molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-120
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Gastroenterology
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Intestines
Defensins
Epithelial Cells
Paneth Cells
Resistin
Bacteria
Proteins
Aptitude
Helminths
Chemotaxis
Lectins
Crohn Disease
Lipopolysaccharides
Pancreas
Diarrhea
Permeability
Peptides
Infection
CAP18 lipopolysaccharide-binding protein
In Vitro Techniques

Keywords

  • Innate immunity
  • Intestine
  • Microbial pathogenesis
  • Mucosal immunology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Innate immune defenses in the intestinal tract. / Dann-Grice, Sara; Eckmann, Lars.

In: Current Opinion in Gastroenterology, Vol. 23, No. 2, 03.2007, p. 115-120.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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