Cobwebs shield the human gut from unwanted invaders

时间:2019-03-04 06:05:05166网络整理admin

JUST like spiders, we weave webs – microscopic ones that capture and prevent microbes from irritating the lining of the small intestine. Charles Bevins at the University of California, Davis, found that human alpha defensin 6 (HD6) molecules bind together to form a web after they have ensnared bacterial or fungal cells. The web prevents the cells from entering intestinal crypts – recesses lying at the bottom of villi that line the small intestine (Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1218831). Inside the crypts, stem cells regenerate the lining of the gut about every three days. “Anything that gets into the crypt is a potential threat to this process,” says Bevins. HD6 is found at low levels in people with inflammatory bowel diseases, Bevins says,