The gut microbiome in autoimmunity: Sex matters

Andres Gomez, David Luckey, Veena Taneja

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis are multifactorial in nature, requiring both genetic and environmental factors for onset. Increased predisposition of females to a wide range of autoimmune diseases points to a gender bias in the multifactorial etiology of these disorders. However, the existing evidence to date has not provided any conclusive mechanism of gender-bias beyond the role of hormones and sex chromosomes. The gut microbiome, which impacts the innate and adaptive branches of immunity, not only influences the development of autoimmune disorders but may interact with sex-hormones to modulate disease progression and sex-bias. Here, we review the current information on gender bias in autoimmunity and discuss the potential of microbiome-derived biomarkers to help unravel the complex interplay between genes, environment and hormones in rheumatoid arthritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-162
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 28 2014


  • Autoimmunity
  • Gender-bias
  • Microbiome
  • Sex-hormones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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