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Keywords:

  • enterocyte;
  • immunoregulation;
  • intestinal immunology;
  • oral tolerance;
  • tolerosomes

Summary

Enterocytes used to be studied particularly in terms of digestion protagonists. However, as the immune functions of the intestinal tract were better understood, it became clear that enterocytes are not mere bystanders concerning the induction of immune tolerance to dietary peptides and gut microbiota. In fact, enterocytes are involved actively in shaping the intestinal immune environment, designed for maintaining a non-belligerent state. This tolerant milieu of the gut immune system is achieved by keeping a balance between suppression and stimulation of the inflammatory responses. Our review presents the current state of knowledge concerning the relationship between enterocytes and immune cells (dendritic cells, lymphocytes), with emphasis on the enterocytes' impact on the mechanisms leading to the induction of oral tolerance.