The functions of mucosal T cells in containing the indigenous commensal flora of the intestine

There is an immense load of non-pathogenic commensal bacteria in the distal small intestine and the colon of mammals. The physical barrier that prevents penetration (translocation) of these organisms into the body is a simple epithelium comprised of the single enterocyte/colonocyte cell layer with its overlying mucus. In this review, we discuss the roles of intestinal T cells in initiating and regulating innate and adaptive mucosal immune responses of the mucosal immune system that avoid or limit penetration of the commensal intestinal bacteria.

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