C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) are powerful pattern-recognition receptors that discern ‘self’ and ‘non-self’ in our body and protect us from invasive pathogens by mediating immune recognition and response. The gastrointestinal tract is very important for the maintenance of homeostasis; it is the largest shelter for the billions of microorganisms in the body and CLRs play a crucial regulatory role in this system. This study focuses on several CLRs, including Dectin-1, Dectin-2, Dectin-3 and Mincle. We summarize the roles of CLRs in maintaining gastrointestinal immune-system homeostasis, especially their functions in mediating immune recognition and responses in the gut, discuss their relationships to some diseases, highlight the significance of CLR-mediated sensing of microbial and non-microbial compounds in the gut immune system and identify new therapeutic targets.

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