The influence of environment on development of the mucosal immune system

M Bailey, K Haverson, Charlotte Inman, C Harris, P Jones, G Corfield, B Miller, C Stokes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)


The mucosal immune system expresses active responses against pathogens and also tolerance against harmless food and commensal bacterial antigens. The mechanisms that determine which of these outcomes occur after recognition of antigens by T-cells are not clear. One possibility is that it is determined by the initial interaction between a dendritic and a naïve T-cell in organised lymphoid tissue. However, such organised structures are, evolutionarily, quite recent and the original immune system must have made appropriate responses in more diffuse immunological architecture; a second possibility is that the critical interaction is between primed T-cells and their environment, in the lamina propria of the intestine. The mucosal immune system of neonates is poorly developed and inefficient at expressing appropriate immune responses. Development is influenced by a range of environmental factors including maternally derived antigen or antibody and commensal flora and pathogens. The intestine is a complex immunological structure in which the immune system and the macro- and microenvironment interact.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-198
Number of pages10
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2005


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