Mucosal and barrier tissues are unique in that they mediate crosstalk between the host and the surrounding environment, which contains many potentially harmful factors. Therefore, it is critical that cell types present at barrier and mucosal surfaces are equipped with mechanisms to sense changes in the environment and to calibrate their responses accordingly. Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AHR) is a ligand dependent transcription factor well known to generate biological responses to environmental pollutants, such as benzoapyrene and halogenated dioxins. Surprisingly, in the last few years a large body of evidence has shown that AHR is also involved in maintaining homeostasis or in triggering pathology by modulating the biological responses of critical cell types at the barrier and mucosal interfaces. Here, we will review progresses in this field and discuss how targeting AHR activation may impact disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-314
Number of pages5
JournalSeminars in immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Aryl hydrocarbon receptor
  • IL-22
  • Innate lymphoid cells
  • Mucosal tissues


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