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In vitro cell and tissue models for studying host–microbe interactions: a review

  • Miriam Bermudez-Brito (a1), Julio Plaza-Díaz (a1), Luis Fontana (a1), Sergio Muñoz-Quezada (a1) and Angel Gil (a1)...


Ideally, cell models should resemble the in vivo conditions; however, in most in vitro experimental models, epithelial cells are cultivated as monolayers, in which the establishment of functional epithelial features is not achieved. To overcome this problem, co-culture experiments with probiotics, dendritic cells and intestinal epithelial cells and three-dimensional models attempt to reconcile the complex and dynamic interactions that exist in vivo between the intestinal epithelium and bacteria on the luminal side and between the epithelium and the underlying immune system on the basolateral side. Additional models include tissue explants, bioreactors and organoids. The present review details the in vitro models used to study host–microbe interactions and explores the new tools that may help in understanding the molecular mechanisms of these interactions.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Professor Á. Gil, fax +34 958 819132, email email


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