Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 38, Issue 8, pp 1377–1387

Intestinal epithelial function: The case for immunophysiological regulation

Cells and mediators (first of two parts)
  • Derek M. McKay
  • Mary H. Perdue
Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/BF01308592

Cite this article as:
McKay, D.M. & Perdue, M.H. Digest Dis Sci (1993) 38: 1377. doi:10.1007/BF01308592


During the last decade the traditional view of epithelial function being controlled solely by the endocrine and nervous systems has been expanded by the realization that immune cells also have an important part to play in the control of intestinal physiology. Here, we review the current immunophysiological data pertaining to the control of the function of the intestinal epithelium, with particular reference to ion secretion. The role of immunocompetent cells (lymphocytes, mast cells, and granulated phagocytes) and their chemical messenger molecules (ie, biogenic amines, eicosanoids, cytokines) is discussed and the general theme of cell cooperation and integration is emphasized.

Key Words

immunophysiologyintestinal hypersensitivityimmune systemmast cellbiogenic amineeicosanoidcytokineinflammation

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek M. McKay
    • 1
  • Mary H. Perdue
    • 1
  1. 1.Intestinal Disease Research Unit, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health ScienceMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada