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Microbiome Connection to Autoimmune Eye Disease

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Gemini, Aug 30, 2015.

  1. Gemini

    Gemini Senior Member

    East Coast USA
    Gut bacteria may trigger an autoimmune eye disease, uveitis, one of the leading causes of blindness.

    Immunity. 2015 Aug 18;43(2):343-53.
    Microbiota-Dependent Activation of an Autoreactive T Cell Receptor Provokes Autoimmunity in an Immunologically Privileged Site.
    Activated retina-specific T cells that have acquired the ability to break through the blood-retinal barrier are thought to be causally involved in autoimmune uveitis, a major cause of human blindness. It is unclear where these autoreactive T cells first become activated, given that their cognate antigens are sequestered within the immune-privileged eye.

    We demonstrate in a novel mouse model of spontaneous uveitis that activation of retina-specific T cells is dependent on gut commensal microbiota. Retina-specific T cell activation involved signaling through the autoreactive T cell receptor (TCR) in response to non-cognate antigen in the intestine and was independent of the endogenous retinal autoantigen.

    Our findings not only have implications for the etiology of human uveitis, but also raise the possibility that activation of autoreactive TCRs by commensal microbes might be a more common trigger of autoimmune diseases than is currently appreciated.

    NIH appears to be most interested in this type of autoimmune research (see Author Information):

    Science also featured an article here:

    Wondering if Dr. Ian Lipkin's microbiome study will explore autoimmune possibilities? Anyone know off hand?
    whodathunkit likes this.
  2. msf

    msf Senior Member

    Hmm, I would like to hear Prof. Edward´s take on this. Is autoimmune uveitis thought to be the same as the uveitis in Reactive Arthritis?
  3. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards "Gibberish"

    I have not heard of evidence for autoreactive T cells in reactive arthritis or uveitis but I may have missed stuff on uveitis of other sorts.

    I am not sure what they mean by non-cognate antigen.

    I am sceptical of the relevance of a mouse model anyway. The main reason why it is unlikely that gut microbiota have anything to do with autoimmunity in people is the lack of epidemiological clues from geographical populations or epidemics.

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