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Journal of Immunology Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 828264, 15 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/828264
Review Article

Immune Homeostasis in Epithelial Cells: Evidence and Role of Inflammasome Signaling Reviewed

1Department of Respiratory Medicine, Nutrim School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Centre, 6229 HX Maastricht, Netherlands
2IUF-Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, Auf’m Hennekamp 50, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany

Received 15 January 2015; Accepted 7 July 2015

Academic Editor: Kurt Blaser

Copyright © 2015 Paul M. Peeters 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.

Abstract

The epithelium regulates the interaction between the noxious xenogenous, as well as the microbial environment and the immune system, not only by providing a barrier but also by expressing a number of immunoregulatory membrane receptors, and intracellular danger sensors and their downstream effectors. Amongst these are a number of inflammasome sensor subtypes, which have been initially characterized in myeloid cells and described to be activated upon assembly into multiprotein complexes by microbial and environmental triggers. This review compiles a vast amount of literature that supports a pivotal role for inflammasomes in the various epithelial barriers of the human body as essential factors maintaining immune signaling and homeostasis.