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.