Review article: Role of the enteric microflora in the pathogenesis of intestinal inflammation and arthritis

Authors

  • Professor R. B. SARTOR

    Corresponding author
    1. University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Department of Medicine/Division of Digestive Diseases, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
      University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, School of Medicine CB 7080, Room 326, Burnett Womack Building, Chapel Hill, NC 27599–7080, USA
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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, School of Medicine CB 7080, Room 326, Burnett Womack Building, Chapel Hill, NC 27599–7080, USA

SUMMARY

Strong associations exist between intestinal inflammation and arthritis, ranging from infections with enteric pathogens to idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease. Increased exposure of the lamina propia and systemic circulation to enteric microflora and their products are a result of increased proliferation of the luminal bacteria, pathogenic invasion or enhanced mucosal permeability. Data suggest that anaerobic bacteria and other constituents of the normal luminal microbial flora induce and sustain chronic intestinal inflammation and arthritis. However, the normal host develops a tolerance to such bacteria and maintains homeostasis through a controlled inflammatory response and an almost impermeable mucosal barrier.

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