Functional relevance of intestinal epithelial cells in inflammatory bowel disease

  • OKAMOTO Ryuichi
    Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Center for stem cells and regenerative medicine
  • WATANABE Mamoru
    Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Graduate School, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

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  • 腸上皮機能と炎症性腸疾患

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Abstract

<p>  The intestinal epithelium constitutes a physical barrier between inner and outer side of our body. It also functions as a “hub” which connects factors that determine the development of inflammatory bowel disease, such as microbiota, susceptibility genes, and host immune response. Accordingly, recent studies have implicated and further featured the role of intestinal epithelial cell dysfunction in the pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel disease. For example, mucin producing goblet cells are usually “depleted” in ulcerative colitis patients. Studies have shown that those goblet cells exhibit various immune-regulatory functions in addition to mucin production, such as antigen presentation or cytokine production. Paneth cells are another key cell lineage that has been deeply implicated in the pathophysiology of Crohn's disease. Several susceptibility genes for Crohn's disease may lead to impairment of anti-bacterial peptide production and secretion by Paneth cells. Also, other susceptibility genes may determine the survival of Paneth cells, which leads to reduced Paneth cell function in the patient small intestinal mucosa. Further studies may reveal other unexpected roles of the intestinal epithelium in the pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel disease, and may help to develop alternative therapies targeted to intestinal epithelial cell functions.</p>

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