University of Cambridge > > Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine > Lympho-epithelial cross talk in the gut

Lympho-epithelial cross talk in the gut

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Under “steady state” conditions intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) secrete anti inflammatory cytokines to maintain the correct intestinal homeostasis. The introduction of “danger” signals represented by pathogenic bacteria rapidly triggers a series of events aimed at initiating inflammatory immune responses and to prevent or contain invasion and eliminate the pathogen. Of particular note, we have observed that in response to pathogen exposure the intestinal epithelium rapidly recruits DCs to the intestinal epithelium resulting in their migration into the lumen. We have also observed bacteria-induced cytokine-mediated up-regulation of M cell transport within the specialized follicle associated epithelium of Peyer’s patch. These rapid responses are indicative of the coordinated and concerted action of IEC and DCs. Furthermore, we have recently observed that the interplay between IEC -derived and DC-derived cytokines is critical for maintaining intestinal immune homeostasis. In particular our attention has been focused on the role played by the reciprocal control and regulation taking place between epithelium-derived thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) and DC-derived IL-12. Alteration of this regulatory pathway has a profound influence on the generation of immune responses.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine series.

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