The peacekeeping mechanisms in our intestines were highlighted by a new study.
A protein, called SIGIRR, is produced by the cells that line the intestines. It supresses the cells' immune response to bacteria.
"We expected that when SIGIRR was removed, our intestines would trigger a stronger immune response to a gut infection, affording us more protection against the infection," says Prof. Bruce Vallance, an associate professor in UBC's Dept. of Pediatrics and a scientist at the Child & Family Research Institute at BC Children's Hospital. "Instead, the stronger immune response also killed the resident bacteria in our gut."