Environmental Microbes and Uveitis: Is Microbial Exposure Always Bad?

C. Massilamany, A. Gangaplara, J. Reddy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The eye generally is considered to be an immune-privileged organ, but this notion is being increasingly challenged as ocular antigens can be expressed in the generative lymphoid organs, resulting in attainment of self-tolerance. What triggers a break in this tolerant state is a fundamental question in autoimmunity research. The general belief is that exposure to environmental microbes can break self-tolerance in genetically susceptible individuals, leading to the induction of autoimmune responses. The molecular mimicry hypothesis has been proposed as one major mechanistic, pathway through which microbes, by generating cross-reactive immune responses, can induce ocular damage of the kind that might occur in uveitis. However, our recent data suggest that exposure to microbial products containing mimicry epitopes for retinal antigens can potentially be beneficial to the host. In this review, we discuss the immune mechanisms with particular reference to the molecular mimicry hypothesis as it relates to immune-mediated uveitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)469-475
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian Journal of Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Environmental Microbes and Uveitis: Is Microbial Exposure Always Bad?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this