Next Article in Journal
Next Article in Special Issue
Previous Article in Journal
Previous Article in Special Issue
Pathogens 2014, 3(1), 73-92; doi:10.3390/pathogens3010073
Review

The Natural Antimicrobial Enzyme Lysozyme is Up-Regulated in Gastrointestinal Inflammatory Conditions

Received: 24 October 2013; in revised form: 3 January 2014 / Accepted: 7 January 2014 / Published: 16 January 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gut Microbiome)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [6792 KB, uploaded 16 January 2014]   |   Browse Figures
Abstract: The cells that line the mucosa of the human gastrointestinal tract (GI, that is, oral cavity, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum) are constantly challenged by adverse micro-environmental factors, such as different pH, enzymes, and bacterial flora. With exception of the oral cavity, these microenvironments also contain remnant cocktails of secreted enzymes and bacteria from upper organs along the tract. The density of the GI bacteria varies, from 103/mL near the gastric outlet, to 1010/mL at the ileocecal valve, to 1011 to 1012/mL in the colon. The total microbial population (ca. 1014) exceeds the total number of cells in the tract. It is, therefore, remarkable that despite the prima facie inauspicious mixture of harmful secretions and bacteria, the normal GI mucosa retains a healthy state of cell renewal. To counteract the hostile microenvironment, the GI epithelia react by speeding cell exfoliation (the GI mucosa has a turnover time of two to three days), by increasing peristalsis, by eliminating bacteria through secretion of plasma cell-immunoglobulins and by increasing production of natural antibacterial compounds, such as defensin-5 and lysozyme. Only recently, lysozyme was found up-regulated in Barrett’s oesophagitis, chronic gastritis, gluten-induced atrophic duodenitis (coeliac disease), collagenous colitis, lymphocytic colitis, and Crohn’s colitis. This up-regulation is a response directed to the special types of bacteria recently detected in these diseases. The aim of lysozyme up-regulation is to protect individual mucosal segments to chronic inflammation. The molecular mechanisms connected to the crosstalk between the intraluminal bacterial flora and the production of lysozyme released by the GI mucosae, are discussed. Bacterial resistance continues to exhaust our supply of commercial antibiotics. The potential use of lysozyme to treat infectious diseases is receiving much attention.
Keywords: lysozyme; chronic inflammation; oesophagus; stomach; duodenum; colon lysozyme; chronic inflammation; oesophagus; stomach; duodenum; colon
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Export to BibTeX |
EndNote


MDPI and ACS Style

Rubio, C.A. The Natural Antimicrobial Enzyme Lysozyme is Up-Regulated in Gastrointestinal Inflammatory Conditions. Pathogens 2014, 3, 73-92.

AMA Style

Rubio CA. The Natural Antimicrobial Enzyme Lysozyme is Up-Regulated in Gastrointestinal Inflammatory Conditions. Pathogens. 2014; 3(1):73-92.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rubio, Carlos A. 2014. "The Natural Antimicrobial Enzyme Lysozyme is Up-Regulated in Gastrointestinal Inflammatory Conditions." Pathogens 3, no. 1: 73-92.



Pathogens EISSN 2076-0817 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert