Abstract The single layer of epithelial cells lining the intestinal tract is charged with a most difficult task: protecting the underlying biological compartments from both the normal commensal flora that reside within the intestinal lumen as well as the uninvited pathogens. To such an end, the intestinal epithelial cells are equipped with a panoply of defense mechanisms, both constitutive and inducible. This review focuses only on those defense mechanisms that are initiated and executed by the intestinal epithelial cell. Fitting these strict criteria are three major categories of epithelial host defense: enhanced salt and water secretion, expression of antimicrobial proteins and peptides, and production of intestinal mucins. Each of these areas is discussed in this review. chloride secretion enteric pathogens antimicrobial peptides mucins prostaglandins Footnotes Address for reprint requests and other correspondence: G. Hecht, Univ. of Illinois, Dept. of Medicine, Digestive and Liver Disease (M/C 787), 840 South Wood St., CSB Rm. 704, Chicago, IL 60612 (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ). The author is supported by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Grant DK-50694 and grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs (Merit Award and Research Enhancement Awards Program). Copyright © 1999 the American Physiological Society
AJP - Cell Physiology – The American Physiological Society
Published: Sep 1, 1999
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