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Autoimmunity and microbiota

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.

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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.

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Chervonsky, A. Autoimmunity and microbiota. J Transl Med 9 (Suppl 2), I13 (2011).

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