Crosstalk between intestinal epithelial cell and adaptive immune cell in intestinal mucosal immunity

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Constantly challenged by luminal bacteria, intestinal epithelium forms both a physical and biochemical defense against pathogens. Besides, intestinal epithelium senses dynamic and continuous changes in luminal environment and transmits signals to subjacent immune cells accordingly. It has been long accepted that adaptive immune cells fulfill their roles partly by modulating function of intestinal epithelial cells. Recent studies have brought up the proposal that intestinal epithelial cells also actively participate in the regulation of adaptive immunity, especially CD4+ adaptive T cells, which indicates that there is reciprocal crosstalk between intestinal epithelial cells and adaptive immune cells, and the crosstalk may play important role in intestinal mucosal immunity. This Review makes a comprehensive summary about crosstalk between intestinal epithelial cells and CD4+ adaptive T cells in intestinal immunity. Special attention would be given to their implications in inflammatory bowel disease pathogenesis and potential therapeutic targets.

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