Transcriptional profile of genes associated with villus epithelial cell maturation, adhesion, and defense response. Multiple genes involved in epithelial cell adhesion, growth and maturation, and defense response were found to be transcribed exclusively in the villus epithelium. Interestingly, the genes involved in epithelial adhesion and differentiation were distinct from those identified in Paneth cells, suggesting that each lineage employs a separate and specific set of molecular mechanisms to promote appropriate growth, development, and positioning. Increased transcription of multiple mucins transcripts in the villus epithelium was also detected, an expected result given the observed level of goblet cells in tissue sections of the ileal samples that were used for LCMD. Statistical validation of the fold-differences in mRNA levels was determined by student t-test (P value ≤ 0.05).