Neuroscientists at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School have traced a previously observed relationship between the gut microbiome, which is made up of tiny organisms in the digestive system, and multiple sclerosis (MS). .
Their study, conducted using genetically engineered mice and human subjects, supports the idea that dietary changes, such as increasing fiber intake, may slow the progression of multiple sclerosis. is currently working to assess the impact of dietary interventions on MS patients.
“Unhealthy dietary habits, such as low-fiber and high-fat consumption, may be contributing to the sharp rise in multiple sclerosis in the United States,” said an associate professor of neurology, The forefront of immunology“In countries where people still eat more fiber, MS is much less common.
Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the protective coverings of nerves in the brain, spinal cord, and eyes. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Association, it affects nearly 1 million adults in the United States.
Several previous studies differentiated the microbiomes of MS patients and healthy subjects, but they all pointed to different abnormalities, Ito said, so what changes might drive disease progression? It was impossible to determine whether
The Rutgers study, led by researcher Sudhir Kumar Yadav, used mice engineered with MS-associated genes to identify changes in gut bacteria and an MS-like condition called experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). I tracked the relationship.
As these mice matured and simultaneously developed an inflammatory condition of the gut called EAE and colitis, the researchers found an increase in the recruitment of inflammatory cells (neutrophils) to the colon, called lipocalin-2 (Lcn-2). We observed the production of antibacterial proteins.
The research team then looked for evidence that the same process occurred in people with multiple sclerosis and found significantly elevated levels of Lcn-2 in the stool of the patients. This marker correlated with decreased bacterial diversity and increased levels of other markers of intestinal inflammation. Moreover, bacteria that appear to alleviate inflammatory bowel disease were reduced in MS patients with high Lcn-2 levels in her faeces.
This study suggests that Lcn-2 levels in feces may be a sensitive marker for detecting unhealthy changes in the gut microbiota of MS patients. It also provides further evidence that a high-fiber diet that reduces intestinal inflammation may help fight multiple sclerosis.
Rutgers hopes to test that hypothesis soon. Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut, a co-senior author of the paper and head of the Department of Neurology at the School of Medicine, said the study was developed by Rutgers microbiologists for a study to determine how high-fiber supplements affect the microbiome and immune system. is recruiting MS patients. Zhao Liping.
Reference: “Faecal Lcn-2 levels are a sensitive biological indicator of gut microbiota and gut inflammation in multiple sclerosis.” Sudhir K. Yadav, Naoko Ito, John E. Mindur, Hetal Kumar, By Mysra Youssef, Shradha Suresh, Ratuja Kulkarni, Yaritza Rosario, Konstantin E. Balashov, Suhayl Dhib-Jalbut and Kouichi Ito, 21 October 2022, The forefront of immunology.