Loss of Gut Barrier Integrity In Lupus

Longhuan Ma, Laurence Morel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus is a complex autoimmune disease and its etiology remains unknown. Increased gut permeability has been reported in lupus patients, yet whether it promotes or results from lupus progression is unclear. Recent studies indicate that an impaired intestinal barrier allows the translocation of bacteria and bacterial components into systemic organs, increasing immune cell activation and autoantibody generation. Indeed, induced gut leakage in a mouse model of lupus enhanced disease characteristics, including the production of anti-dsDNA antibody, serum IL-6 as well as cell apoptosis. Gut microbiota dysbiosis has been suggested to be one of the factors that decreases gut barrier integrity by outgrowing harmful bacteria and their products, or by perturbation of gut immune homeostasis, which in turn affects gut barrier integrity. The restoration of microbial balance eliminates gut leakage in mice, further confirming the role of microbiota in maintaining gut barrier integrity. In this review, we discuss recent advances on the association between microbiota dysbiosis and leaky gut, as well as their influences on the progression of lupus. The modifications on host microbiota and gut integrity may offer insights into the development of new lupus treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919792
Number of pages1
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • autoimmunity
  • dysbiosis
  • gut barrier integrity
  • lupus
  • microbiota

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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