Autophagy is a conserved homeostatic process by which cells degrade and recycle cytoplasmic contents and organelles. Recently, autophagy has come to prominence as a factor in many disease states, including inflammatory bowel diseases. In this review we explore the recent discoveries in autophagy and how these relate to the special conditions experienced by the gut mucosa. We will pay particular attention to autophagy as an innate immune process and its role in the development and education of the adaptive immune system. (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2010;)
1Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; 2Gastrointestinal Unit, Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; 3Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts
*Reprints: Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Richard B. Simches Research Center, 185 Cambridge St., 7th Floor, Boston, MA 02114
Email: email@example.com; Xavier@molbio.mgh.harvard.edu)
Received 2 April 2009; Accepted 9 April 2009
Supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) AI062773 and DK83756 and DK043351.
Published online 2 July 2009 in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com).