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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 142492, 13 pages
Review Article

Innate Immunity Modulation by the IL-33/ST2 System in Intestinal Mucosa

1Disciplinary Program of Immunology, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
2Cell and Molecular Biology Program, Biomedical Sciences Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
3Gastroenterology Unit, Las Condes Clinic, Santiago, Chile

Received 14 September 2012; Accepted 29 October 2012

Academic Editor: Thomas Griffith

Copyright © 2013 Marina García-Miguel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Innate immunity prevents pathogens from entering and spreading within the body. This function is especially important in the gastrointestinal tract and skin, as these organs have a large surface contact area with the outside environment. In the intestine, luminal commensal bacteria are necessary for adequate food digestion and play a crucial role in tolerance to benign antigens. Immune system damage can create an intestinal inflammatory response, leading to chronic disease including inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an IBD of unknown etiology with increasing worldwide prevalence. In the intestinal mucosa of UC patients, there is an imbalance in the IL-33/ST2 axis, an important modulator of the innate immune response. This paper reviews the role of the IL-33/ST2 system in innate immunity of the intestinal mucosa and its importance in inflammatory bowel diseases, especially ulcerative colitis.