Inducible lymphoid tissues in the adult gut: recapitulation of a fetal developmental pathway?

Nat Rev Immunol. 2005 May;5(5):413-20. doi: 10.1038/nri1600.


The intestinal immune system faces an extraordinary challenge from the large numbers of commensal bacteria and potential pathogens that are restrained by only a single layer of epithelial cells. Here, I discuss evidence that the intestinal immune system develops an extensive network of inducible, reversible lymphoid tissues that contributes to the vital equilibrium between the gut and the bacterial flora. I propose that this network is induced by cryptopatches, which are small clusters of dendritic cells and lymphoid cells that are identical to fetal inducers of lymph-node and Peyer's-patch development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / embryology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal*
  • Lymph Nodes / embryology
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / embryology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Organizers, Embryonic / immunology*
  • Peyer's Patches / embryology
  • Peyer's Patches / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology