Microbiome manipulation modifies sex-specific risk for autoimmunity

Janet Gm Markle, Daniel N. Frank, Khosrow Adeli, Martin Von Bergen, Jayne S. Danska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite growing evidence for a causal role of environmental factors in autoimmune diseases including the rise in disease frequencies over the past several decades we lack an understanding of how particular environmental exposures modify disease risk. In addition, many autoimmune diseases display sexbiased incidence, with females being disproportionately affected but the mechanisms underlying this sex bias remain elusive. Emerging evidence suggests that both host metabolism and immune function is crucially regulated by the intestinal microbiome. Recently, we showed that in the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), the gut commensal microbial community strongly impacts the pronounced sex bias in T1D risk by controlling serum testosterone and metabolic phenotypes1. Here we present new data in the NOD model that explores the correlations between microbial phylogeny, testosterone levels, and metabolic phenotypes, and discuss the future of microbiome-centered analysis and microbe-based therapeutic approaches in autoimmune diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-493
Number of pages9
JournalGut Microbes
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Immune response to microbiome
  • Metabolome
  • Mouse models of autoimmunity
  • Sex bias in disease
  • Steroid hormones
  • Type 1 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Microbiome manipulation modifies sex-specific risk for autoimmunity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this