Regulation of tissue homeostasis by NF-kappaB signalling: implications for inflammatory diseases

Nat Rev Immunol. 2009 Nov;9(11):778-88. doi: 10.1038/nri2655.


The nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) signalling pathway regulates immune responses and is implicated in the pathogenesis of many inflammatory diseases. Given the well established pro-inflammatory functions of NF-kappaB, inhibition of this pathway would be expected to have anti-inflammatory effects. However, recent studies in mouse models have led to surprising and provocative results, as NF-kappaB inhibition in epithelial cells resulted in the spontaneous development of severe chronic inflammatory conditions. These findings indicate that NF-kappaB signalling acts in non-immune cells to control the maintenance of tissue immune homeostasis. This Review discusses the mechanisms by which NF-kappaB activity in non-immune cells regulates tissue immune homeostasis and prevents the pathogenesis of inflammatory diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epidermis / immunology
  • Epidermis / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / immunology*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Hepatocytes / immunology
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism
  • Homeostasis / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Intestines / immunology
  • Keratinocytes / immunology
  • Keratinocytes / metabolism
  • Liver / immunology
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • NF-kappa B / immunology
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • Skin / immunology
  • Skin / metabolism


  • NF-kappa B