Gut-associated lymphoid tissue, T cell trafficking, and chronic intestinal inflammation

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010 Oct;1207 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):E86-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05711.x.


The etiologies of the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD; Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis) have not been fully elucidated. However, there is very good evidence implicating T cell and T cell trafficking to the gut and its associated lymphoid tissue as important components in disease pathogenesis. The objective of this review is to provide an overview of the mechanisms involved in naive and effector T cell trafficking to the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT; Peyer's patches, isolated lymphoid follicles), mesenteric lymph nodes and intestine in response to commensal enteric antigens under physiological conditions as well as during the induction of chronic gut inflammation. In addition, recent data suggests that the GALT may not be required for enteric antigen-driven intestinal inflammation in certain mouse models of IBD. These new data suggest a possible paradigm shift in our understanding of how and where naive T cells become activated to yield disease-producing effector cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Colitis / pathology
  • Colitis / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphoid Tissue / physiopathology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology*