The Role of the Epithelial Barrier in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Edward E. S. Nieuwenhuis
  • Richard S. Blumberg
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 579)


The epithelial barrier protects the intestine from harmful antigens. The intestinal epithelial cell produces a wide array of molecules that play a role in initiating, maintaining, but also preventing and controlling mucosal inflammation. A defect in epithelial cell regulated barrier function may lead to continued exposure of intestinal immune cells to bacterially derived molecules leading to destructive intestinal inflammation that characterizes IBD.


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Copyright information

© and Springer Science+Business Media 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward E. S. Nieuwenhuis
    • 1
  • Richard S. Blumberg
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatric GastroenterologyErasmus MCRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Gastroenterology Division and Laboratory of Mucosal ImmunologyBrigham and Women’s HospitalHarvardUSA

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