Effector and Regulatory Lymphoid Cells and Cytokines in Mucosal Sites

  • T. T. MacDonald
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 236)


The key feature of the mucosal immune system is the dual ability to respond promptly and effectively to invasive and lumen-dwelling pathogens, while retaining the ability to be unresponsive to non-pathogenic agents such as the autochthonous flora and foods. To specifically ignore some antigens in the gut (i.e. foods) and respond to others (i.e. cholera vibrios) is not an option, since there is no way in which the immune system can predict the nature of a pathogen. The enormous diversity of potential T-cell receptors, therefore, means that all foreign peptides in the gut are likely to be recognised. One of the major goals of modern immunology is to ascertain the determinants which can predict whether recognition results in active immunity or unresponsiveness, and nowhere is this more important than in the gastrointestinal tract.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease Celiac Disease Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis Lamina Propria Myelin Basic Protein 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. T. MacDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Paediatric GastroenterologySt Bartholomews and the Royal London School of Medicine and DentistryLondonUK

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