Immunology in the Gut Mucosa

by Jill Carnahan, MD, ABFM, ABIHM, IFMCP

The gut mucosa hosts is the largest and most dynamic immunological environment of the body. It’s often the first point of pathogen exposure and many microbes use it as a beachhead into the rest of the body.

Therefore, the gut immune system needs to be ready to respond to pathogens, but at the same time it is constantly exposed to innocuous environmental antigens, food particles and commensal microflora, which need to be tolerated. Misdirected immune responses to harmless antigens are the underlying cause of food allergies and debilitating conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease.

This award-winning animation introduces the key cells and molecular players involved in gut immunohomeostasis and disease. (From



Animation by Arkitek Scientific. Produced with support from Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. For information from the sponsor, please click here. Nature has full responsibility for all editorial content, including NatureVideo content. This content is editorially independent of sponsors.

Also watch: Immunology in the skin


Original blog by Dr. Jill Carnahan can be found here.


About Jill Carnahan, MD, ABFM, ABIHM, IFMCP

Dr. Jill Carnahan emphasizes an integrative holistic approach to wellness using both conventional medicine and evidence based complementary therapies, taking into account the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. She emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between physician and patient and seeks to give her patients a full range of healing options with an emphasis on healthy living, nutrition, and disease prevention.