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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02057

Epithelial cells as a transmitter of signals from commensal bacteria and host immune cells

  • 1Chiba University, Japan
  • 2The University of Tokyo, Japan

Intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) are non-hematopoietic cells that form a physical barrier against external antigens. Recent studies indicate that IECs have pleiotropic functions in the regulation of luminal microbiota and the host immune system. IECs produce various immune modulatory cytokines and chemokines in response to commensal bacteria and contribute to developing the intestinal immune system. In contrast, IECs receive cytokine signals from immune cells and produce various immunological factors against luminal bacteria. This bidirectional function of IECs is critical to regulate homeostasis of microbiota and the host immune system. Disruption of the epithelial barrier leads to detrimental host diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, colonic cancer, and pathogenic infection. This review provides an overview of the functions and physiology of IECs and highlights their bidirectional functions against luminal bacteria and immune cells, which contribute to maintaining gut homeostasis.

Keywords: commensal bacteria, intestinal epithelial cells, Immune System, Out-side in signal, Inside-out signal

Received: 06 Mar 2019; Accepted: 14 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Goto. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Yoshiyuki Goto, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan, y-gotoh@chiba-u.jp