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Med Hypotheses. 2007;68(2):364-9. Epub 2006 Sep 15.

Abnormal hormonal control of gut hydrolytic enzymes causes autoimmune attack on the CNS by production of immune-mimic and adjuvant molecules: A comprehensive explanation for the induction of multiple sclerosis.

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Institute for Disease Research, PO Box 890193, Temecula, CA 92589-0193, USA.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is generally thought to be caused by an autoimmune attack on central nervous system (CNS) myelin. A microorganism containing a mimic of an immunogenic region of a myelin protein initiates the autoimmune process. However, no specific "MS" microorganism has been found. Recently a large number of normal human gut bacteria were found to possess different encephalitogenic mimics. A hypothesis is presented that the autoimmune process is started by abnormal proteolytic digestion of these bacteria. Sufficient quantities of the mimics are produced to be recognized by the immune system. Since proteolytic processes in the gut are strictly controlled, it is proposed that the MS process is triggered by abnormal hormonal control of gut proteolytic enzymes. It has previously been suggested that the recognition of CNS myelin antigens by activated MS immune cells is facilitated by proteolytic processing of myelin proteins. The CNS proteases are also under rigid control and these control processes are the same as is in the gut. Therefore, MS clinical activity is the result of improper hydrolytic degradation in the brain-gut axis caused by an abnormal hormonal variation.

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