IMR Press / FBS / Volume 4 / Issue 2 / DOI: 10.2741/S293

Frontiers in Bioscience-Scholar (FBS) is published by IMR Press from Volume 13 Issue 1 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Innate and adaptive immunity in host-microbiota mutualism
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1 Maurice Muller Laboratories, University Clinic for Visceral Surgery and Medicine, Murtenstrasse 35, University of Bern, CH3010, Bern, Switzerland

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Front. Biosci. (Schol Ed) 2012, 4(2), 685–698;
Published: 1 January 2012

Healthy individuals live in peaceful co-existence with an immense load of intestinal bacteria. This symbiosis is advantageous for both the host and the bacteria. For the host it provides access to otherwise undigestible nutrients and colonization resistance against pathogens. In return the bacteria receive an excellent nutrient habitat. The mucosal immune adaptations to the presence of this commensal intestinal microflora are manifold. Although bacterial colonization has clear systemic consequences, such as maturation of the immune system, it is striking that the mutualistic adaptive (T and B cells) and innate immune responses are precisely compartmentalized to the mucosal immune system. Here we summarize the mechanisms of mucosal immune compartmentalization and its importance for a healthy host-microbiota mutualism.

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