Intestinal Microbiome in Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation For Autoimmune Diseases: Considerations and Perspectives on Behalf of Autoimmune Diseases Working Party (ADWP) of the EBMT

Front Oncol. 2021 Oct 22:11:722436. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2021.722436. eCollection 2021.


Over the past decades, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has been evolving as specific treatment for patients with severe and refractory autoimmune diseases (ADs), where mechanistic studies have provided evidence for a profound immune renewal facilitating the observed beneficial responses. The intestinal microbiome plays an important role in host physiology including shaping the immune repertoire. The relationships between intestinal microbiota composition and outcomes after HSCT for hematologic diseases have been identified, particularly for predicting the mortality from infectious and non-infectious causes. Furthermore, therapeutic manipulations of the gut microbiota, such as fecal microbiota transplant (FMT), have emerged as promising therapeutic approaches for restoring the functional and anatomical integrity of the intestinal microbiota post-transplantation. Although changes in the intestinal microbiome have been linked to various ADs, studies investigating the effect of intestinal dysbiosis on HSCT outcomes for ADs are scarce and require further attention. Herein, we describe some of the landmark microbiome studies in HSCT recipients and patients with chronic ADs, and discuss the challenges and opportunities of microbiome research for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in the context of HSCT for ADs.

Keywords: HSCT = hematopoietic stem cell transplant; autoimmune diseases; autoimmunity; fecal transplantation; intestinal; microbiome; stem cell transplantation.