Epithelial Barrier Theory

Yazici, D., Ogulur, I., Pat, Y. et al. Seminars in Immunology, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smim.2023.101846

Since the 1960 s, our health has been compromised by exposure to over 350,000 newly introduced toxic substances, contributing to the current pandemic in allergic, autoimmune and metabolic diseases. The “Epithelial Barrier Theory” postulates that these diseases are exacerbated by persistent periepithelial inflammation (epithelitis) triggered by exposure to a wide range of epithelial barrier-damaging substances as well as genetic susceptibility. The epithelial barrier serves as the body’s primary physical, chemical, and immunological barrier against external stimuli. A leaky epithelial barrier facilitates the translocation of the microbiome from the surface of the afflicted tissues to interepithelial and even deeper subepithelial locations. In turn, opportunistic bacterial colonization, microbiota dysbiosis, local inflammation and impaired tissue regeneration and remodelling follow. Migration of inflammatory cells to susceptible tissues contributes to damage and inflammation, initiating and aggravating many chronic inflammatory diseases. The objective of this review is to highlight and evaluate recent studies on epithelial physiology and its role in the pathogenesis of chronic diseases in light of the epithelial barrier theory. Read more.