Journal of Clinical Immunology Research

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Short Communication - Journal of Clinical Immunology Research (2023) Volume 6, Issue 2

Mucosal Immunity and Autoimmune Diseases: Breaking the Tolerance Barrier

John Braun*

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of California, California, USA

*Corresponding Author:
John Braun
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
University of California, California, USA

Received: 03-Apr-2023, Manuscript No. AACIR-23-97674; Editor assigned: 06-Apr-2023, Pre QC No. AACIR-23-97674 (PQ); Reviewed: 20-Apr-2023, QC No. AACIR-23-97674; Revised: 22-Apr-2023, Manuscript No. AACIR-23-97674 (R); Published: 27-Apr-2023, DOI: 10.35841/aacir-6.2.139

Citation: Braun J. Mucosal immunity and autoimmune diseases: Breaking the tolerance barrier. J Clin Immunol. 2023;6(2):139

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Autoimmune diseases are characterized by an abnormal immune response in which the body's immune system mistakenly targets and attacks its own tissues and organs. These conditions can affect various parts of the body, including the skin, joints, thyroid, and gastrointestinal tract, among others. Mucosal immunity, which encompasses the immune responses occurring at mucosal surfaces such as the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and genitourinary tracts, plays a critical role in maintaining immune homeostasis and protecting against invading pathogens. This article explores the intricate relationship between mucosal immunity and autoimmune diseases, examining the potential mechanisms through which mucosal immune dysregulation contribute to the development and progression of autoimmune disorders [1].

The mucosal immune system is a complex network of immune cells, tissues, and specialized structures that act as the first line of defense at mucosal surfaces. It is designed to maintain a delicate balance between protective immune responses against pathogens and the induction of tolerance to harmless antigens. Key components of the mucosal immune system include Mucosal-Associated Lymphoid Tissue (MALT), specialized epithelial cells, secretory antibodies (IgA), and various immune cells, such as T cells, B cells, and dendritic cells The gut microbiota, the diverse community of microorganisms residing in the gastrointestinal tract, has emerged as a critical player in mucosal immunity and its impact on autoimmune diseases. The microbiota interacts with the mucosal immune system, influencing immune cell development, function, and the balance between tolerance and inflammation. Dysbiosis, characterized by alterations in the gut microbiota composition and function, has been associated with the development of autoimmune disorders. The mechanisms by which dysbiosis contributes to autoimmunity include disruption of immune tolerance, increased gut permeability, and alteration of microbial metabolites.

Intestinal permeability refers to the ability of the intestinal epithelial barrier to control the movement of substances between the gut lumen and underlying tissues. Impaired intestinal barrier function, often referred to as "leaky gut," has been implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Increased intestinal permeability allows the translocation of microbial components, toxins, and antigens from the gut lumen into the systemic circulation, triggering immune responses and promoting systemic inflammation. This process can initiate and perpetuate autoimmune reactions in susceptible individuals [2].

Mucosal immune dysregulation, characterized by alterations in immune cell populations, cytokine production, and immune signaling pathways, can contribute to the development and progression of autoimmune diseases. Disruption of immune tolerance mechanisms, such as defective regulatory T cell function or impaired antigen presentation, can lead to the activation of autoreactive immune cells and the breakdown of self-tolerance. Moreover, dysregulated mucosal immune responses can result in chronic inflammation, tissue damage, and the perpetuation of autoimmune responses [3].

Mucosal immunity and specific autoimmune diseases

Different autoimmune diseases are associated with specific mucosal immune dysfunctions. For example, in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), a group of chronic intestinal disorders, dysregulation of the mucosal immune response and alterations in the gut microbiota are prominent features. In Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), a multisystem autoimmune disease, impaired mucosal immune tolerance and increased intestinal permeability have been observed. Understanding the specific mucosal immune mechanisms involved in different autoimmune diseases can aid in developing targeted therapeutic approaches [4].

The gut microbiota and intestinal permeability have emerged as important factors in mucosal immune dysregulation and autoimmunity. Dysbiosis and increased intestinal permeability can disrupt immune tolerance, trigger systemic inflammation, and initiate autoimmune reactions in susceptible individuals. Understanding the intricate interactions between the gut microbiota, mucosal immune system, and autoimmune diseases holds promise for developing novel therapeutic strategies [5].

Mucosal immune dysregulation is not limited to the gut but extends to other mucosal surfaces, such as the respiratory and genitourinary tracts. Dysfunction in mucosal immune responses, impaired immune tolerance mechanisms, and altered microbial interactions can all contribute to the development of specific autoimmune diseases.


The relationship between mucosal immunity and autoimmune diseases is a complex and dynamic field of study. The mucosal immune system, which comprises the immune responses at mucosal surfaces, plays a crucial role in maintaining immune homeostasis and protection against pathogens. Dysregulation of mucosal immunity can contribute to the development and progression of autoimmune diseases.


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