Microbes and Art: Immunology in the Gut Mucosa

Immunology in the Gut MucosaThe gut mucosa is the body’s largest and most dynamic immunological environment harbouring the largest population of immune cells and often the first point of pathogen exposure. Many microbes use the gut mucosa as a springboard into the rest of the body.

The gut immune system must thus be ready to respond immediately to pathogens. At the same time the gut mucosa is continuously exposed to environmental antigens, food particles, and the (harmless, even beneficial) microbiome.

Misdirected (over) responses to harmless antigens are the causing factors in many food allergies and debilitating conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease.

Immunology in the Gut Mucosa (short movie)

Much like how I imagine it would be to join the submarine in the ‘fantastic voyage’ the animation takes you trough the body. Traveling down a virtual throat affected by strep into the gut. A few microbes have survived the harsh stomach conditions and are causing trouble. T cells, macrophages, neutrophils,etc. come to the rescue. Some of these soldiers brawl with messenger molecules, others thrill with energy before exploding to destroy the pathogens. ‘Immunology in the Gut Mucosa’ also explains how a disorder in the system underlies symptoms seen in eg. inflammatory bowel disease.

This beautiful and prize-winning animation ‘Immunology in the Gut Mucosa’ provides an solid introduction to the most important key cells and molecular players involved in immunohomeastasis and disease.

About Immunology in the Gut Mucosa

‘Immunology in the Gut Mucosa’ was made for Nature Immunology in collaboration with Arkitek Studios to explain and unravelling the complexities of mucosal immunology in health and disease. Credit: Doug Huff and Elizabeth Anderson from Arkitek Studios; Zoltan Fehervari from Nature Immunology; Simon Fenwick from Nature Reviews 

It received an honorable mention in the video category of the 2013 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge.

“We’ve had a wonderful response, particularly from people suffering from complications of the gut who’ve expressed satisfaction at finally having a window on what’s going on inside them,” says Beth Anderson, CEO of medical visualization company Arkitek Studios, which created the video.