Molecular Physiology

The Intestinal epithelium as a regulatory interface

Epithelial cells in the intestine are constantly confronted with one of the most complex environments conceivable. It is made of differing nutrients, pathogens that have been taken up orally, and the endogenous microbiota. To hold a homeostatic balance is thus a delicate regulatory challenge for these cells.

Deregulation of the epithelial immune response may end up in inflammatory diseases of the intestine, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Using Drosophila as a model, we want to understand how the different cell types in the epithelium interact with each other to hold the balance and which factors drive the epithelium to inflammation-like phenotypes. 

Scheme of the Drosophila gut



Christian Wegener (Würzburg, Germany)