Shaped by the epithelium – postnatal immune mechanisms of oral homeostasis

Khaled Zubeidat, Avi Hai Hovav

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The first encounter of mucosal barriers with the microbiota initiates host–microbiota feedback loops instructing the tailored development of both the immune system and microbiota at each mucosal site. Once established, balanced immunological interactions enable symbiotic relationships with the microbiota in adult life. This process has been extensively investigated in the mammalian monolayer epithelium-covered intestine and lung mucosae; however, the postnatal mechanisms engaged by the oral mucosa to establish homeostasis are currently being discovered. Here, we discuss the early life dialogue between the oral mucosa and the microbiota, with particular emphasis on the central role the multilayer epithelium plays to protect the oral mucosa. These intricate and unique postnatal immunological processes shape oral homeostasis, which can potentially affect buccal and systemic health in adult life.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)622-634
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • epithelium
  • homeostasis
  • microbiota
  • neonate
  • oral mucosa

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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