The multifaceted Paneth cell

E. M. Porter, Charles L Bevins, D. Ghosh, T. Ganz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

303 Scopus citations


Paneth cells (PCs) were described over a century ago as granulated cells located at the base of small intestinal crypts, the 'crypts of Lieberkühn.' Various histochemical staining procedures were developed that identified PCs based on their distinctive granule-staining pattern. Early on, PCs were proposed to perform a specialized function other than absorption of digested nutrients, the predominant task of the small intestinal epithelium. Since then, many constituents of the PC granules have been biochemically characterized. The presence of various granule-associated antimicrobial substances and their release upon microbial challenge suggest that PCs function as specialized defense cells in the small intestine. Altered resistance to microbial infection in animal models with disrupted or augmented PC function provides further support for the host defense role of PCs. Other PC components suggest that PCs may also participate in the regulation of lumenal ionic composition, crypt development, digestion, and intestinal inflammation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-170
Number of pages15
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial peptide
  • Cytokine
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Innate immunity
  • Matrilysin
  • Pancreas
  • Trypsin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'The multifaceted Paneth cell'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this