Gut 52:1522-1529 doi:10.1136/gut.52.10.1522
  • Review

The dendritic cell: its role in intestinal inflammation and relationship with gut bacteria

  1. A J Stagg1,
  2. A L Hart1,
  3. S C Knight1,
  4. M A Kamm2
  1. 1Antigen Presentation Research Group, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, UK
  2. 2St Mark’s Hospital, Harrow, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr A J Stagg, APRG, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Northwick Park Campus, Watford Rd, Harrow HA1 3UJ, Middlesex, UK;
  • Accepted 10 June 2003


Dendritic cells are antigen presenting cells that are likely to be pivotal in the balance between tolerance and active immunity to commensal microorganisms that is fundamental to inflammatory conditions, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Interactions between dendritic cells and microbial products are discussed and how they contribute to regulation of immune responses. The concept that interactions between dendritic cells and commensal organisms may be responsible for maintaining intestinal immune homeostasis is also explored.