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Autoimmune uveitis may be triggered by bacteria in the gut

A recent studyconducted by the National Eye Institute revealed a link between bacteria in the gut contributing the development of autoimmune uveitis, which is an inflammatory eye disorder. Autoimmune uveitis develops when a person's immune system goes haywire and attacks the proteins in the eye. The mice used in the study were genetically engineered to develop autoimmune uveitis. Prior to the development of the disease, the researchers found the cells within the intestines of the mice that were the cells that attacked the eye. To determine whether these cells preceded the initial symptoms of the disease, the researchers treated the mice with a wide spectrum antibiotic blend to destroy the bacteria in the gut. The treated mice developed autoimmune uveitis at a much later time compared to the control mice that were not treated. The findings in this study will help researchers understand what causes autoimmune uveitis and will hopefully allow them to develop safe therapies for treating the condition and may also assist in discovering the origins of autoimmune diseases elsewhere in the body.

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