Cell-Cell Interactions pp 17-35

Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 341)

Interactions of Intestinal Epithelial Cells With Bacteria and Immune Cells: Methods to Characterize Microflora and Functional Consequences

  • Geraldine Canny
  • Alexander Swidsinski
  • Beth A. McCormick


Epithelial cells at all mucosal surfaces are potentially apposed to bacteria, particularly in the intestine. It is established that intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) represent an important barrier between lamina propria cells and the potentially harmful lumenal contents. In addition, IECs are important immunoeffector cells with the capacity to release cytokines, chemokines, and other molecules involved in antigen presentation and immune defense. The interaction of IECs with intestinal bacteria can result in a decrease in barrier function and the development of inflammation, which is known to be an important factor in the development of intestinal pathology. The potential role of such crosstalk between bacteria and other intestinal cell types in normal physiology and/or pathophysiology is therefore a topic of intense investigation. In this chapter, we provide protocols for the identification of bacteria that are associated with the epithelium and mucosa in addition to functional assays examining the interactions of neutrophils with epithelial cells and epithelial cell-mediated killing of bacteria.

Key Words

Structural organization of intestinal microbiota fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) bacterial–epithelial interactions neutrophil transepithelial migration bacterial killing by epithelial cells 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geraldine Canny
    • 1
    • 2
  • Alexander Swidsinski
    • 3
  • Beth A. McCormick
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion InjuryBrigham
  2. 2.Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBoston
  3. 3.Innere Klinik, Gastroenterologie, CharitBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Massachusetts General Hospital and Department of Microbiology and Molecular GeneticsHarvard Medical SchoolBoston

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