Dietary influences on intestinal immunity

Nat Rev Immunol. 2012 Oct;12(10):696-708. doi: 10.1038/nri3299.


The function of the gastrointestinal tract relies on a monolayer of epithelial cells, which are essential for the uptake of nutrients. The fragile lining requires protection against insults by a diverse array of antigens. This is accomplished by the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissues of the gastrointestinal tract, which constitute a highly organized immune organ. In this Review, we discuss several recent findings that provide a compelling link between dietary compounds and the organization and maintenance of immune tissues and lymphocytes in the intestine. We highlight some of the molecular players involved, in particular ligand-activated nuclear receptors in lymphoid cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet*
  • Dietary Fats / metabolism
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Peyer's Patches / immunology
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / physiology
  • Vegetables / chemistry


  • Dietary Fats
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear