Leaky Gut and Autoimmunity: An Intricate Balance in Individuals Health and the Diseased State

Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Dec 21;21(24):9770. doi: 10.3390/ijms21249770.


Damage to the tissue and the ruining of functions characterize autoimmune syndromes. This review centers around leaky gut syndromes and how they stimulate autoimmune pathogenesis. Lymphoid tissue commonly associated with the gut, together with the neuroendocrine network, collaborates with the intestinal epithelial wall, with its paracellular tight junctions, to maintain the balance, tolerance, and resistance to foreign/neo-antigens. The physiological regulator of paracellular tight junctions plays a vital role in transferring macromolecules across the intestinal barrier and thereby maintains immune response equilibrium. A new paradigm has explained the intricacies of disease development and proposed that the processes can be prevented if the interaction between the genetic factor and environmental causes is barred by re-instituting the intestinal wall function. The latest clinical evidence and animal models reinforce this current thought and offer the basis for innovative methodologies to thwart and treat autoimmune syndromes.

Keywords: autoimmune disorders; immune system; intestinal wall; microbiota.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases / etiology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / pathology*
  • Cell Membrane Permeability*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / immunology*
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / pathology*
  • Humans