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World J Gastroenterol. Nov 7, 2014; 20(41): 15216-15232
Published online Nov 7, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i41.15216
Heterogeneity across the murine small and large intestine
Rowann Bowcutt, Ruth Forman, Maria Glymenaki, Simon Richard Carding, Kathryn Jane Else, Sheena Margaret Cruickshank
Rowann Bowcutt, Ruth Forman, Maria Glymenaki, Kathryn Jane Else, Sheena Margaret Cruickshank, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, M13 9PL Manchester, United Kingdom
Rowann Bowcutt, Department of Microbiology, New York University, New York, NY 10012, United States
Simon Richard Carding, Gut Health and Food Safety Research Programme, Institute of Food Research and the Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, NR4 7TJ Norwich, United Kingdom
Author contributions: Bowcutt R and Forman R contributed equally to the paper; Glymenaki M, Carding SR, Else KJ and Cruickshank SM wrote the paper.
Supported by BBSRC/CASE studentship awarded (to Rowann Bowcutt); BBSRC studentship awarded (to M Glymnaki); and Wellcome Trust Project grant, No. 092323
Correspondence to: Dr. Sheena Margaret Cruickshank, Lecturer, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, AV Hill Building, M13 9PL Manchester, United Kingdom.
Telephone: +44-161-2751582 Fax: +44-161-2755082
Received: January 29, 2014
Revised: March 18, 2014
Accepted: June 14, 2014
Published online: November 7, 2014
Core Tip

Core tip: The small and large intestine of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) have evolved to have different functions and have a distinct anatomy, biology and immunology. Despite this, findings from the small intestine are often inappropriately attributed to large intestine and vice versa. The importance of these biological differences is underlined when considering that different regions of the GIT are associated with different infections and pathologies. This review addresses the literature relating to the small and large intestine – clarifying the similarities and differences between the two sites. We also highlight the gaps in our understanding where further research is needed.