Uveitis, autoimmune eye disease linked to gut bacteria and smoking

By: Emily Lunardo
The autoimmune eye disease known as uveitis attacks proteins in the eye, and now research suggests the underlying problem may be linked to gut bacteria and smoking.
For some time now eye specialists have understood that attacking proteins in the eye can cause the symptoms of uveitis, which include eye pain, eye redness and irritation, as well as blurred vision. It has always been a bit of a mystery as to what causes the autoimmune eye disease, but now a study on mice has lead experts to believe that they could be looking at gut microbes eye disease – that gut bacteria just might be the starting point for immune cells to start attacking the eye.
According to the National Eye Institute, the eye is a place always thought to be protected by a blood-tissue barrier that minimizes the exchange of substances going in and out of the eye. However, in the case of uveitis, it seems as if immune cells, often called T cells can break through this barrier. Before the cells can break a barrier they have to be activated so Institute researchers wanted to figure out what activates the T cells.
The researchers decided to study genetically engineered mice to develop the autoimmune eye disease. Before the mice even developed symptoms of the disease, the research team discovered T cells in their intestines, as opposed to their lymph nodes, where they would normally be if they had some sort of infection for example. When they investigated further, they found that the T cells in the gut produced a protein that added to the damage of autoimmune uveitis.
Study authors say the discovery supports the notion that gut bacteria may be the first signs of uveitis……
Read more: http://www.belmarrahealth.com/uveitis-autoimmune-eye-disease-linked-gut-bacteria-smoking/ 
Source: Bel Marra Health

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