Immune cells in the intestine protect against diseases

We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

Intestinal immune cells are crucial for the body's defenses

The gut plays a crucial role not only in digestion but also in immune defense. Special lymphocytes in the intestine are of particular importance, report the US researchers led by Lora Hooper from the Southwestern Medical Center of the University of Texas in Dallas, USA in the current issue of the journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, PNAS"

Certain lymphocytes in the intestine are used to ward off pathogens and bacteria directly on the intestinal wall, according to the US scientists. The defense function of the lymphocytes is particularly important in the first three to four hours after the pathogens have entered, said Lora Hooper and colleagues. If the protective function is disturbed, serious chronic bowel diseases could result.

Immune cells in the intestine prevent the spread of pathogens The US researchers investigated the special importance of lymphocytes in the intestine for immune defense based on laboratory tests in which they manipulated genetically modified mice that were unable to produce the appropriate lymphocytes and healthy mice via pathogens (Salmonella) Had food taken up. They then observed the reaction of the immune system, the concentration of the pathogens in the spleen three hours after the salmonella intake in the mice without corresponding lymphocytes being a hundred times higher than in the normal mice. However, 24 hours after admission, the differences in Salmonella exposure decreased again as the remaining parts of the immune system started to fight the pathogens, the US researchers report. The intestinal lymphocytes therefore play a special role, especially in the first hours after the pathogens have entered.

Gut lymphocytes form antibodies and alarm immune cells According to the US scientists, special lymphocytes in the gut produce antibodies as soon as they come into contact with bacteria in the intestinal mucosa. So-called lectins (bacteria-killing proteins) and messenger substances that alarm other immune cells are released, the US researchers explained. In the first few hours after the pathogens penetrate, their spread can be controlled and effective fighting by the immune system can be guaranteed, explained Lora Hooper and colleagues. A deficiency in the corresponding intestinal lymphocytes and other disorders of the protective function described could also be the cause of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, according to the US researchers. Because in the case of inflammatory bowel diseases, the balance between the bacteria in the intestine and the body's defenses play a special role, the US scientists explain. On the one hand, the body must accept the bacteria as a natural component of a healthy intestinal flora and, on the other hand, prevent the germs from penetrating the intestinal mucosa in order to avoid infections.

Research intensified - connection between obesity and intestinal type discovered The importance of the interplay between bacteria and fungi in the intestinal flora and the body's own defenses has been the subject of extensive studies in the recent past, focusing not only on the effects on defense against pathogens, but also, for example a relationship between certain types of intestine and the risk of obesity and obesity has been investigated. A study led by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg came to the conclusion that three different types of germ populations can be determined in the human intestine depending on the types of bacteria present. These also regulate individual food utilization and determine whether a person tends to become overweight or obese (obese), the researchers at EMBL reported in the journal "Nature". However, the now-discovered effects of intestinal lymphocytes could possibly help to develop new therapies for the treatment and prevention of diseases, "if we understand how the immune system's bacterial defense can be strengthened," the US researchers emphasized. (fp)

Read about the gut and immune system:
The majority of Germans have intestinal mushrooms
Diverticulum: Dietary fibers make the intestines easier
Bowel type crucial for obesity?
Gut dysbiosis: With bacteria against bacteria

Image: Sigrid Rossmann /

Author and source information

Video: What Are Pathogens? Health. Biology. FuseSchool


  1. Meztinris

    You recollect 18 more century

  2. Harlowe

    This is interesting. Say please - where can I read about this?

Write a message

Previous Article

Eye implant instead of glasses

Next Article

Inability to work: right to sickness benefit