Mouse and human intestinal immunity: same ballpark, different players; different rules, same score

Mucosal Immunol. 2011 Mar;4(2):148-57. doi: 10.1038/mi.2010.85. Epub 2011 Jan 12.


The study of animal immune physiology and animal models of human disease have accelerated many aspects of translational research by allowing direct, definitive investigations. In particular, the use of mice has allowed genetic manipulation, adoptive transfer, immunization, and focused cell and tissue sampling, which would obviously be unthinkable for studies in humans. However, the disease relevance of some animal models may be uncertain and difficulties in interpretation may occur as a consequence of immunological differences between the two species. In this review, we will consider general differences in the structure and development of human and mouse mucosal lymphoid microenvironments and then discuss species differences in mucosal B- and T-cell biology that relate to the current concepts of intestinal immune function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal*
  • Immunoglobulin A / immunology
  • Interleukin-17 / immunology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / cytology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / microbiology
  • Intestines / cytology
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Intestines / microbiology
  • Mice
  • Peyer's Patches / cytology
  • Peyer's Patches / immunology
  • Peyer's Patches / microbiology
  • Plasma Cells / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Interleukin-17