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      Recognition of commensal microflora by toll-like receptors is required for intestinal homeostasis.

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          Abstract

          Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a crucial role in host defense against microbial infection. The microbial ligands recognized by TLRs are not unique to pathogens, however, and are produced by both pathogenic and commensal microorganisms. It is thought that an inflammatory response to commensal bacteria is avoided due to sequestration of microflora by surface epithelia. Here, we show that commensal bacteria are recognized by TLRs under normal steady-state conditions, and this interaction plays a crucial role in the maintenance of intestinal epithelial homeostasis. Furthermore, we find that activation of TLRs by commensal microflora is critical for the protection against gut injury and associated mortality. These findings reveal a novel function of TLRs-control of intestinal epithelial homeostasis and protection from injury-and provide a new perspective on the evolution of host-microbial interactions.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Cell
          Cell
          Elsevier BV
          0092-8674
          0092-8674
          Jul 23 2004
          : 118
          : 2
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Section of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510, USA.
          Article
          S0092867404006610
          10.1016/j.cell.2004.07.002
          15260992
          1983d3e8-c436-4e5b-b90b-706459993085

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