Vol. 27, No. 3, 2009
Issue release date: September 2009
Free Access
Dig Dis 2009;27:246–251
Pathophysiology of IBD and Age of Onset
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Links between Autophagy, Innate Immunity, Inflammation and Crohn’s Disease

Deretic V.
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, N. Mex., USA
email Corresponding Author

 goto top of outline Key Words

  • Autophagy
  • Innate immunity
  • Crohn’s disease

 goto top of outline Abstract

Autophagy is a fundamental biological process that endows eukaryotic cells with the ability to autodigest portions of their own cytoplasm. Autophagy plays roles in aging, development, neurodegeneration, cancer and immunity. The immunological role of autophagy was first recognized for the ability of autophagy to sanitize the cellular interior by killing intracellular microbes and, indirectly, by the adaptations that successful intracellular pathogens have evolved to protect themselves from autophagy. Since then, the repertoire of autophagy functions in immunity has been vastly expanded to include numerous intersections of regulatory and effector nature with innate and adaptive immunity. Autophagy acts both as an effector and a regulator of pattern recognition receptors, it supports MHC II presentation of cytosolic (self and microbial) antigens, it shapes central tolerance via thymic selection of the T cell repertoire, is an effector of Th1/Th2 polarization, affects homeostasis of T, B, and specialized immune cells such as Paneth cells, and – when defective – can be a contributing factor to chronic inflammatory conditions in human populations such as Crohn’s disease.

Copyright © 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel

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 goto top of outline Author Contacts

Vojo Deretic, PhD
Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
915 Camino de Salud, NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131-001 (USA)
Tel. +1 505 272 0291, Fax +1 505 272 5309, E-Mail vderetic@salud.unm.edu

 goto top of outline Article Information

Published online: September 24, 2009
Number of Print Pages : 6
Number of Figures : 0, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 86

 goto top of outline Publication Details

Digestive Diseases (Clinical Reviews)

Vol. 27, No. 3, Year 2009 (Cover Date: September 2009)

Journal Editor: Malfertheiner P. (Magdeburg)
ISSN: 0257-2753 (Print), eISSN: 1421-9875 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/DDI

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