Gut Bacteria May Play Preventive Role in MS

 

New findings support the increasingly prominent hypothesis that gut bacteria play a role in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Specifically, a study published in Cell Reports (Aug;20(6):1269-1277) shows that a bacteria present in the gut known as Prevotella histicola may possibly prevent MS. In the study, investigators found that Prevotella histicola can suppress experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in a human leukocyte antigen (HLA) Class II transgenic mouse model. They further noted that Prevotella histicola increases in the frequencies of CD4+FoxP3+ regulatory T cells, tolerogenic dendritic cells, and suppressive macrophages. “Our study provides evidence that the administration of gut commensals may regulate a systemic immune response and may, therefore, have a possible role in treatment strategies for MS,” the authors wrote.

 

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Launched in January 2002, Practical Neurology strives to enhance quality of care and improve the daily operation of neurology practices. Each month, our experts explain the real-world significance of recent advances in neurologic science and offer step-by-step advice on how to overcome the clinical and business challenges neurologists face. Our straightforward, how-to articles give neurologists tools they can put into practice right away.

 
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