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Access to the article is free, however registration and sign-in are required. One way by which cells in the intestinal milieu may prevent this possible outcome is to apply a number of checks on the resident microflora that control its overall size and composition. Cash et al. characterize one such check--the ability of epithelial cells lining parts of the mucosa to produce RegIII (regenerating islet 3 gamma), a C-type lectin with bactericidal properties. This substance may not only regulate the mix of intestinal organisms, but may also eliminate potential pathogens that cannot be controlled by the microflora alone.The barrier between our gut flora and body depends on immune cell action and secreted antibacterial molecules in the gut wall.
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