Innate immunity in the small intestine

Rebeca Santaolalla, Masayuki Fukata, Maria T Abreu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of Review: In this article, we provide an update of the latest findings related to the innate immunity in the small intestine. In particular, we will focus on innate immune receptors and antimicrobial strategies that keep luminal bacteria and viral pathogens under control to avoid mucosal damage. These strategies include IgA secretion and antimicrobial peptides produced by Paneth cells, and downregulation or anergy of the innate immune receptors themselves. Recent Findings: Pattern-recognition receptors are the main target in the study of innate immunity in the intestinal mucosa due to their involvement in the regulation of host-commensal interactions. It has been shown that TLR5-deficient mice develop metabolic syndrome and have altered intestinal microbiota. On the contrary, NOD2 has been associated with the activation of autophagy and the inhibition of TLR4. Moreover, NOD2 has been described to be essential to keep a feedback loop in the host-commensal homeostasis, through the kinase Rip-2. Summary: Innate immunity in the small intestine is mainly characterized by IgA secretion and Paneth cell antimicrobial function. In both cases pattern-recognition receptors, Toll-like receptors and nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain-like receptors, are involved. A better understanding of the innate immunity in the small intestine would provide valuable information to develop vaccines against pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Gastroenterology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


Innate Immunity
Small Intestine
Paneth Cells
Pattern Recognition Receptors
Immunoglobulin A
Toll-Like Receptors
Intestinal Mucosa


  • IgA
  • innate immunity
  • nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain-like receptor
  • Paneth cells
  • small intestine
  • toll-like receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Innate immunity in the small intestine. / Santaolalla, Rebeca; Fukata, Masayuki; Abreu, Maria T.

In: Current Opinion in Gastroenterology, Vol. 27, No. 2, 01.03.2011, p. 125-131.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Santaolalla, Rebeca ; Fukata, Masayuki ; Abreu, Maria T. / Innate immunity in the small intestine. In: Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. 2011 ; Vol. 27, No. 2. pp. 125-131.
title = "Innate immunity in the small intestine",
abstract = "Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.",
keywords = "IgA, innate immunity, nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain-like receptor, Paneth cells, small intestine, toll-like receptor",
author = "Rebeca Santaolalla and Masayuki Fukata and Abreu, {Maria T}",
year = "2011",
month = "3",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1097/MOG.0b013e3283438dea",
language = "English",
volume = "27",
pages = "125--131",
journal = "Current Opinion in Gastroenterology",
issn = "0267-1379",
publisher = "Lippincott Williams and Wilkins",
number = "2",



T1 - Innate immunity in the small intestine

AU - Santaolalla, Rebeca

AU - Fukata, Masayuki

AU - Abreu, Maria T

PY - 2011/3/1

Y1 - 2011/3/1

N2 - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

AB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

KW - IgA

KW - innate immunity

KW - nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain-like receptor

KW - Paneth cells

KW - small intestine

KW - toll-like receptor

UR -

UR -

U2 - 10.1097/MOG.0b013e3283438dea

DO - 10.1097/MOG.0b013e3283438dea

M3 - Article

C2 - 21248635

AN - SCOPUS:79951675379

VL - 27

SP - 125

EP - 131

JO - Current Opinion in Gastroenterology

JF - Current Opinion in Gastroenterology

SN - 0267-1379

IS - 2

ER -