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, 118 (2), 229-41

Recognition of Commensal Microflora by Toll-Like Receptors Is Required for Intestinal Homeostasis

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Recognition of Commensal Microflora by Toll-Like Receptors Is Required for Intestinal Homeostasis

Seth Rakoff-Nahoum et al. Cell.

Abstract

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a crucial role in host defense against microbial infection. The microbial ligands recognized by TLRs are not unique to pathogens, however, and are produced by both pathogenic and commensal microorganisms. It is thought that an inflammatory response to commensal bacteria is avoided due to sequestration of microflora by surface epithelia. Here, we show that commensal bacteria are recognized by TLRs under normal steady-state conditions, and this interaction plays a crucial role in the maintenance of intestinal epithelial homeostasis. Furthermore, we find that activation of TLRs by commensal microflora is critical for the protection against gut injury and associated mortality. These findings reveal a novel function of TLRs-control of intestinal epithelial homeostasis and protection from injury-and provide a new perspective on the evolution of host-microbial interactions.

Comment in

  • At the Crossroads of Inflammation and Cancer
    H Clevers. Cell 118 (6), 671-4. PMID 15369667. - Review
    Chronic inflammation and cancer are closely associated in the intestine. Anti-inflammatory medication reduces intestinal neoplasia, while colorectal cancer incidence is i …

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