Innate and adaptive immunity in inflammatory bowel disease

World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Jul 21;17(27):3178-83. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i27.3178.


Inflammatory bowel diseases are the consequence of a dysregulated mucosal immune system. The mucosal immune system consists of two arms, innate and adaptive immunity, that have been studied separately for a long time. Functional studies from in vivo models of intestinal inflammation as well as results from genome-wide association studies strongly suggest a cross-regulation of both arms. The present review will illustrate this interaction by selecting examples from innate immunity and adaptive immunity, and their direct impact on each other. Broadening our view by focusing on the cross-regulated areas of the mucosal immune system will not only facilitate our understanding of disease, but furthermore will allow identification of future therapeutic targets.

Keywords: Immune system; Inflammatory bowel diseases.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity*
  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / genetics
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology*
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / pathology
  • Interleukin-12 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-23 / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Nod2 Signaling Adaptor Protein / metabolism
  • Th1 Cells / cytology


  • Interleukin-23
  • NOD2 protein, human
  • Nod2 Signaling Adaptor Protein
  • Interleukin-12