Cintia De Paiva, MD, PhD
Department of Ophthalmology, Baylor College of Medicine
Monday, September 23, 2019
11:10 am - 12:30 pm
489 Minor Hall
The Gut-Eye-Lacrimal Gland-Microbiome - Axis in Sjogren Syndrome
Microbiome, or microbiota, refers to the ecological communities of organisms that inhabit the human body. This term includes of commensal, pathogenic and symbiotic bacteria. Data from the Human Microbiome Project suggest that bacterial genes are 90% more abundant than human genes in the human body. The advent of next-generation DNA sequencing has advanced the field of microbiome research, as it permitted the identification of specific bacteria based on their 16S ribosomal gene sequences. We hypothesized that alterations in the gut microbiome might be contributing to ocular and oral mucosal inflammation in Sjögren Syndrome. To test our hypothesis, we investigated the microbial community composition and metrics of bacterial abundance using 16S gene sequencing in samples collected from eye, tongue, and stools of SS patients and healthy subjects. Using oral antibiotics to induce dysbiosis in mice (a bacterial unbalance) or using germ-free mice, we unraveled a protective role for commensal bacteria through a decrease in the generation of pathogenic CD4+T cells and production of IL-12 by antigen-presenting cells. The existence of a gut-eye-lacrimal gland-microbiome axis is proposed. Understanding the relationship between microbes and host are key to harvest the protective effects.