Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mucous Producing Cells Provide Intestinal Immunity

Goblet cells that line the intestine and secrete mucous are emerging as part of a tag team to protect us from harmful bacteria, viruses and large undigested food particles that can trigger food allergies. And they allow for vitamins and other nutrients to pass to the circulatory system.

A recent report from a research team at Washington University School of medicine in St. Louis shows that goblet cells work with dendritic cells.

Dr. Miller says the results are important because they help scientists understand that intestinal immune responses may depend as much on the ability of goblet cells to transport antigens to dendritic cells as much as on what the dendritic cells then do with those antigens. 

Vitamin A and D are important in maintaining healthy mucosal lining, and it is imperative to have ones vitamin A and D blood levels done to make sure the blood level is above 120 (Canadian) and 48 (USA) . You can only tell if you have absorbed the vitamin D that you have taken (or the effects of sun tanning) with a blood level. There are many ways that the absorption of vitamin D and A can go wrong.

The more we know about the workings of our intestinal system the more we can understand how to stop abnormal reactions to normal, not disease producing proteins that may be found in the bowel, like gluten or casein. 

Jefferson Adams writes more about this in Goblet Cells Emerge asUnexpected Player in Intestinal Immunity

Celiac.com 05/16/2012 - Goblet cells that line the intestine and secrete mucous are emerging as a possible target for treating inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease and food allergies. With every meal, immune cells in the intestine stand guard against harmful bacteria but permit vitamins and nutrients to pass. The small intestine is protected from harmful pathogens by a layer of mucus secreted from goblet cells.

A research team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has identified the cells that protect the intestine against food antigens, or proteins so that the immune system does not begin an attack…… …….. and observed antigens as they were passed by goblet cells to dendritic cells.

Dendritic cells play a key role in the immune system. But until now, scientists thought that intestinal goblet cells were only responsible for secreting mucus.

Miller and Newberry also studied healthy human intestinal tissue from patients undergoing weight-loss surgery. Those results showed that goblet cells perform the same function in people as in mice. This indicates that the cells may be solid drug targets for treating inflammatory bowel disease and other intestinal problems.