Received July 15, 2014
Here, the modern data regarding interactions between normal microbiota and barrier tissues in plants, humans and animals are reviewed. The main homeostatic mechanisms responsible for interactions between epithelium and innate immune cells with symbiotic bacteria are described. A key step in this process is recognition of soluble microbial products by ligation to pattern-recognition receptors expressed on the host cells. As a result, epithelial cells secrete mucus, antibacterial peptides and immunoregulatory molecules. The main outcomes from immunological reactions towards symbiotic bacteria involve development of conditions for formation and maintenance of microbial biocenosis as well as providing safety for the host. Also, it is considered important to preserve and transfer beneficial bacteria to progeny.
KEY WORDS: normal microbiota, pattern-recognition receptors, epithelium, innate immunity, symbiotic relationships