The role of pattern recognition receptors in intestinal inflammation

Mucosal Immunol. 2013 May;6(3):451-63. doi: 10.1038/mi.2013.13. Epub 2013 Mar 20.


Recognition of microorganisms by pattern-recognition receptors (PRRs) is the primary component of innate immunity that is responsible for the maintenance of host-microbial interactions in intestinal mucosa. Dysregulation in host-commensal interactions has been implicated as the central pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which predisposes to developing colorectal cancer. Recent animal studies have begun to outline some unique physiology and pathology involving each PRR signaling in the intestine. The major roles played by PRRs in the gut appear to be the regulation of the number and the composition of commensal bacteria, epithelial proliferation, and mucosal permeability in response to epithelial injury. In addition, PRR signaling in lamina propria immune cells may be involved in induction of inflammation in response to invasion of pathogens. Because some PRR-deficient mice have shown variable susceptibility to colitis, the outcome of intestinal inflammation may be modified depending on PRR signaling in epithelial cells, immune cells, and the composition of commensal flora. Through recent findings in animal models of IBD, this review will discuss how abnormal PRR signaling may contribute to the pathogenesis of inflammation and inflammation-associated tumorigenesis in the intestine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic* / immunology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / etiology
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition / immunology*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Receptors, Pattern Recognition