Korean J Gastroenterol.  2010 Jan;55(1):4-18. 10.4166/kjg.2010.55.1.4.

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and Enteric Microbiota

  • 1Department of Microbiology, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jungmogg@hanyang.ac.kr


Intestinal mucosal layers are colonized by a complex microbiota that provides beneficial effects under normal physiological conditions, but is capable of contributing to chronic inflammatory disease such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in susceptible individuals. Studies have shown that the enteric microbiota may drive the development of the gut immune system and can induce immune homeostasis as well as contribute to the development of IBD although the precise etiology is still unknown. Therefore, intestinal microbes seem to play a key role in the disease pathogenesis. Especially, dysbiosis, which is a shift in the composition of enteric microbiota to a nonphysiologic composition, is associated with one or more defects in mucosal immune functions, including microbe recognition, barrier function, intercellular communication, and anti-microbial effector mechanisms. This review focuses on the impact of enteric microbiota on the development and perpetuation of IBD. In addition, interactions with enteric bacteria and mucosal cells, including intestinal epithelial cells, dendritic cells, and T cells, to induce immune responses at mucosal surfaces have been discussed in the point of IBD pathogenesis. Further extension of the knowledge of enteric microbiota may lead to insights on the pathogenesis and new therapeutic strategies for IBD.


Dysbiosis; Inflammatory bowel disease; Intestinal mucosal layer; Microbiota

MeSH Terms

Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
Host-Pathogen Interactions
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/*microbiology/pathology
Intestinal Mucosa/immunology/microbiology
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