Exploring host-pathogen interactions at the epithelial surface: application of transcriptomics in lung biology

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol, Volume 292, Number 2, p.L367-L377 (2007)

DOI Name (links to online publication)



analysis; AREA; Brain; cytology; Dna; Epithelial Cells; Gene Expression; Gene Expression Profiling; genetics; Host-Parasite Relations; Human; Humans; Lung; metabolism; microbiology; Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis; review; statistics; &; numeric


The epithelial surface of the airways is the largest barrier-forming interface between the human body and the outside world. It is now well recognized that, at this strategic position, airway epithelial cells play an eminent role in host defense by recognizing and responding to microbial exposure. Conversely, inhaled microorganisms also respond to contact with epithelial cells. Our understanding of this cross talk is limited, requiring sophisticated experimental approaches to analyze these complex interactions. High-throughput technologies, such as DNA microarray analysis and serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE), have been developed to screen for gene expression levels at large scale within single experiments. Since their introduction, these hypothesis-generating technologies have been widely used in diverse areas such as oncology and brain research. Successful application of these genomics-based technologies has also revealed novel insights in host-pathogen interactions in both the host and pathogen. This review aims to provide an overview of the SAGE and microarray technology illustrated by their application in the analysis of host-pathogen interactions. In particular, the interactions between epithelial cells in the human lungs and clinically relevant microorganisms are the central focus of this review