Editors' ChoiceImmunology

Gut Antigen Sampling and Host Defense

Science's STKE  18 Jan 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 267, pp. tw29
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2672005tw29

A complex interplay has evolved between the cells of the immune system and the mucosal barrier that interfaces with the intestinal lumen and its contents. A good example of this is the specialized antigen-presenting dendritic cells (DC) that reside below the intestinal epithelium "sampling" luminal contents via dendritic extrusions as they extend through the epithelial barrier. Niess et al. examined the behavior and activity of these myeloid-derived DC. The DC were regulated in the extrusion of transepithelial dendrites and in their phagocytic activity by the chemokine receptor CX3CR1. Loss of these activities in the absence of CX3CR1 correlated with an increase in susceptibility to Salmonella typhimurium, suggesting a direct link between transepithelial sampling of antigen by DC and immune-mediated protection of the intestinal mucosa.

J. H. Niess, S. Brand, X. Gu, L. Landsman, S. Jung, B. A. McCormick, J. M. Vyas, M. Boes, H. L. Ploegh, J. G. Fox, D. R. Littman, H.-C. Reinecker, CX3CR1-mediated dendritic cell access to the intestinal lumen and bacterial clearance. Science 307, 254-258 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]