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  • Author: Venkatakrishna Rao Jala x
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Sweta Ghosh Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Brown Cancer Center, Center for Microbiomics, Inflammation and Pathogenicity, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

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Syam P Nukavarapu Department of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, United States of America

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Venkatakrishna Rao Jala Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Brown Cancer Center, Center for Microbiomics, Inflammation and Pathogenicity, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, United States of America

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Exposure to environmental pollutants such as heavy metals lead to significant damage in intestinal epithelial barrier, loss of microbial and immune homeostasis. The intestinal epithelial barrier protects and regulates the responses against several endogenous and exogenous factors including inflammatory cytokines, pathogens, toxins, and pollutants. Intestinal epithelial barrier dysfunction, immune dysregulation and microbial dysbiosis are associated with several gastrointestinal (GI)-related disorders including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The mechanisms and consequences of exposure to environmental toxins on gut barrier function and mucosal immune system are not fully understood. This review explores some of the recent findings of heavy metals and their effect on intestinal barrier function, microbiota, and their contributions to human health and pathogenesis of GI-related disorders such as IBD.

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