Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2018 10 ;14(10):787-792. Epub 2018 Sep 8. PMID: 30173572
The role of gut microbiota in lupus: what we know in 2018?
The role of the human intestinal microbiota in the maintenance of a healthy physiological condition, as well as its relation to the development of disease, remains to be clarified. Current evidence suggests that intestinal microbes could be involved in the initiation and amplification of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Despite recent progress in understanding how these microbes influence the pathophysiology of lupus, studies are still limited. Areas covered: In this review, we have tried to summarize the most relevant findings that have contributed to our understanding of the links between the human intestinal microbiota and the development of lupus. We also describe the potential role of individual microbial players in the physiology of lupus, and how they can shape relevant immune responses. Expert commentary: Culture-independent techniques based on massive sequencing represent a powerful tool to unravel the biological activity of gut microbes. Current data demonstrates that, depending on the pattern of intestinal microorganisms or the presence of specific bacteria, different responses related to lupus physiology can be triggered. Fecal microbiota transplantation, live biotherapeutics, or dietary interventions targeting the microbiota will likely become a treatment for SLE.