Epithelial cells and their neighbors. IV. Bacterial contributions to intestinal epithelial barrier integrity

Anisa S. Ismail, Lora V. Hooper

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

78 Scopus citations


Mammalian intestinal surfaces are in constant and intimate contact with a vast consortium of indigenous commensal bacteria. As a result, gut epithelia have evolved an array of strategies for limiting bacterial invasion into deeper tissues, helping to preserve the mutually beneficial nature of intestinal host-microbial relationships. In this review, we discuss a growing body of evidence indicating that commensal bacteria are actively involved in shaping the very barriers that confine them to the gut lumen. By modulating epithelial inflammatory responses, antimicrobial protein expression, and tissue repair functions, indigenous microbial populations are essential for the maintenance of healthy mucosal surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)G779-G784
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number5 52-5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2005



  • Commensal
  • Epithelium
  • Inflammation
  • Intestinal bacteria
  • Mucosal repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)

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