Intestinal epithelial cells as watchdogs for the natural immune system

Trends Microbiol. 1995 Mar;3(3):118-20. doi: 10.1016/s0966-842x(00)88894-0.


Intestinal epithelial cells secrete a spectrum of chemoattractant and proinflammatory cytokines after invasion by bacteria. We suggest the novel concept that epithelial cells not only act as a mechanical barrier to invasive bacteria, but that they also signal the presence of invasive pathogens to the mucosal immune and inflammatory cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Infections / immunology*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Epithelium / immunology
  • Immune System / immunology*
  • Intestines / cytology
  • Intestines / immunology*
  • Urinary Tract / cytology
  • Urinary Tract / immunology*


  • Cytokines