Skip to content


  • Invited lecture presentation
  • Open Access

Autoimmunity and microbiota

  • 1
Journal of Translational Medicine20119 (Suppl 2) :I13

  • Published:


  • Immune System
  • Autoimmune Disease
  • Metabolic Change
  • Disease Development
  • Innate Immune System

Environment (physical insults, toxins, nutrition and microorganisms) influences development of autoimmune diseases. Pathogenic, pathobiotic and commensal microorganisms contribute to disease progression in genetically susceptible hosts. Germ-free animals or defined-microbiota colonized animals are valuable tools for understanding microbial influences on autoimmunity, especially if they could be genetically modified.

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) susceptible NOD mice were used as an autoimmunity model to test the role of microbiota in disease development and we have determined that microbiota manipulates innate immune system affecting T1D progression.In addition, we found that metabolic changes affecting T1D pathogenesis work indirectly through microbiota. Thus, genetics, microbiota, metabolism and likely dietary challenges, can all affect development of autoimmune diseases.

Authors’ Affiliations

The University of Chicago, Chicago, USA


© Chervonsky; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2011

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.