Role of the enteric microbiota in intestinal homeostasis and inflammation

Iurii Koboziev, Cynthia Reinoso Webb, Kathryn L. Furr, Matthew B. Grisham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

152 Scopus citations


The mammalian intestine encounters many more microorganisms than any other tissue in the body thus making it the largest and most complex component of the immune system. Indeed, there are greater than 100 trillion (1014) microbes within the healthy human intestine, and the total number of genes derived from this diverse microbiome exceeds that of the entire human genome by at least 100-fold. Our coexistence with the gut microbiota represents a dynamic and mutually beneficial relationship that is thought to be a major determinant of health and disease. Because of the potential for intestinal microorganisms to induce local and/or systemic inflammation, the intestinal immune system has developed a number of immune mechanisms to protect the host from pathogenic infections while limiting the inflammatory tissue injury that accompanies these immune responses. Failure to properly regulate intestinal mucosal immunity is thought to be responsible for the inflammatory tissue injury observed in the inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD; Crohn disease, ulcerative colitis). An accumulating body of experimental and clinical evidence strongly suggests that IBD results from a dysregulated immune response to components of the normal gut flora in genetically susceptible individuals. The objective of this review is to present our current understanding of the role that enteric microbiota play in intestinal homeostasis and pathogenesis of chronic intestinal inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-133
Number of pages12
JournalFree Radical Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Commensal bacteria
  • Crohn disease
  • Dysbiosis
  • Fecal transplant
  • Free radicals
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Pathobiont
  • Regulatory T cells
  • Symbiont
  • Th1 effector cells
  • Th17 effector cells
  • Ulcerative colitis


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of the enteric microbiota in intestinal homeostasis and inflammation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this