SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.107 issue11Efficacy of metronidazole versus placebo in pain control after hemorrhoidectomy: results of a controlled clinical trial author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand




Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108


SALVO-ROMERO, Eloísa et al. The intestinal barrier function and its involvement in digestive disease. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2015, vol.107, n.11, pp.686-696. ISSN 1130-0108.

The gastrointestinal mucosal surface is lined with epithelial cells representing an effective barrier made up with intercellular junctions that separate the inner and the outer environments, and block the passage of potentially harmful substances. However, epithelial cells are also responsible for the absorption of nutrients and electrolytes, hence a semipermeable barrier is required that selectively allows a number of substances in while keeping others out. To this end, the intestine developed the "intestinal barrier function", a defensive system involving various elements, both intra- and extracellular, that work in a coordinated way to impede the passage of antigens, toxins, and microbial byproducts, and simultaneously preserves the correct development of the epithelial barrier, the immune system, and the acquisition of tolerance against dietary antigens and the intestinal microbiota. Disturbances in the mechanisms of the barrier function favor the development of exaggerated immune responses; while exact implications remain unknown, changes in intestinal barrier function have been associated with the development of inflammatory conditions in the gastrointestinal tract. This review details de various elements of the intestinal barrier function, and the key molecular and cellular changes described for gastrointestinal diseases associated with dysfunction in this defensive mechanism.

Keywords : Intestinal barrier; Tight junctions; Intestinal immune.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in English | Spanish     · English ( pdf ) | Spanish ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License