Nucleotide oligomerization domain (Nod)-like Receptors (NLRs) are cytosolic sensors that mediate the activation of Caspase-1 and the subsequent processing and secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1beta and IL-18, as well as an inflammatory cell death termed pyroptosis. While a multitude of bacteria have been shown to activate one or more NLRs under in vitro conditions, the exact impact of NLR activation during the course of colonization, both of pathogenic and commensal nature, is less understood. In this review, we will focus on the role of intestinal NLRs during the various stages of infection with common gastrointestinal bacterial pathogens, as well as NLR function in controlling and shaping the microbiota.
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