The epithelium of the gastrointestinal tract is the interface between luminal contents and the mucosal immune system. It must function as a selective barrier to limit penetration of antigens yet keep the mucosal immune system "informed" for the purpose of generating oral tolerance responses to food antigens or commensal organisms and host defense responses against pathogens. Alterations in epithelial barrier function have been proposed to play a significant role in gastrointestinal disease. In this review, we will discuss mechanisms of regulation of epithelial barrier function, and we will focus on the emerging understanding of how secreted immunoglobulins play a role in antigen-specific antigen sampling across the gastrointestinal epithelium.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInflammatory Bowel Disease
Subtitle of host publicationGenetics, Barrier Function, Immunologic Mechanisms, and Microbial Pathways
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)1573315680, 9781573315685
StatePublished - 2006

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
ISSN (Print)0077-8923
ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632


  • Antigen uptake
  • CD23
  • IgE
  • Transcytosis


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