Antigen presentation and T cell regulation by intestinal epithelial cells
A single layer of intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) separates the mucosal immune cell compartment from the microbiota present in the intestinal lumen. IECs help to maintain immune homeostasis and loss of epithelial barrier integrity may contribute to the breakdown of intestinal homeostasis observed in certain intestinal inflammatory disorders, such as inflammatory bowel diseases. IECs express the antigen processing and presentation machinery, which evokes the question whether they can function as non-conventional antigen-presenting cells. My project aims to understand how antigen presentation by IECs contributes to intestinal homeostasis and intestinal inflammation.