A big theme this year at the ACR is the interaction of your gut and autoimmune disease (The Microbiome in Health and Disease was an oral session today). Type 1 DM is increasing – genes are involved but so are changes in gut microbiome.
In SLE, the gut microbiome also seems to be important. Fecal autoantibody production of anti-β2GPI IgA in patients with peripheral blood anti-β2GPI IgG supports the idea that the GI mucosa may be the origin of this antibody in APS (Ruff et al, poster #1). This was also found in aneurysms and temporal artery biopsies in GCA and Takayasu’s arteritis (Funchain et al #88 and Clifford #782).
Specimens from patients with different disease associations host distinct microbiomes. A very small study also showed differences in salivary Sjogren’s microbiome vs. controls (Gallo #526). Use of antibiotics (presumably for infection) increased the risk of JIA (Horton #929), and microbiome changes were present in SSc skin biopsies (Johnson M #1723).
Autoimmune conditions were also observed when the microbiome was altered in various rats and mice at risk for specific diseases. In human disease, microbiome changes could potentially be a cause or effect of disease or treatment. Smoking may alter the micobiome in some studies that specifically looked at this.
Dr. Janet Pope is Professor of Medicine at Western University and Division Head of Rheumatology. Dr. Pope's research interests include epidemiologic studies in scleroderma, classification criteria in systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.View Full Bio