Pediatric Gastro-enterology; mucosal responses to bugs and drugs
01 / 2006 - unknown
The digestive tract is under constant attack by bacteria, viruses and other noxious agents in the lumen of the GI tract. The gastrointestinal mucosa, consisting of the epithelium and the underlying immune cells, form an important line of defense against these potential harmful agents. Mucosal damage may lead to malabsorption and diarrhea, since the gastrointestinal epithelium is essential for the digestion and uptake of nutrients and for the maintenance of the liquid balance in the human body. Since many types of GI diseases lead to mucosal damage, the overall aim of research within this theme is to understand the mechanisms responsible for damage and for subsequent regeneration of the gastrointestinal mucosa in infectious diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases and after chemotherapy. The relevance is perhaps best illustrated by the high incidence of each of the studied diseases. Furthermore, the possibilities are evaluated of intervention either to prevent mucosal damage or to stimulate the recovery of mucosal functions after an insult.