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Immunology. 2018 Jun;154(2):178-185. doi: 10.1111/imm.12903. Epub 2018 Feb 27.

The role of gut microbiome and associated metabolome in the regulation of neuroinflammation in multiple sclerosis and its implications in attenuating chronic inflammation in other inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.

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Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC, USA.


The importance of the gut microbiome in the regulation of non-infectious diseases has earned unprecedented interest from biomedical researchers. Widespread use of next-generation sequencing techniques has prepared a foundation for further research by correlating the presence of specific bacterial species with the onset or severity of a disease state, heralding paradigm-shifting results. This review covers the mechanisms through which a dysbiotic gut microbiota contributes to the pathological symptoms in an autoimmune neurodegenerative disorder, multiple sclerosis (MS). Although the central nervous system (CNS) is protected by the blood-brain barrier (BBB), it is unclear how gut dysbiosis can trigger potential immunological changes in the CNS in the presence of the BBB. This review focuses on the immunoregulatory functionality of microbial metabolites, which can cross the BBB and mediate their effects directly on immune cells within the CNS and/or indirectly through modulating the response of peripheral T cells to stimulate or inhibit pro-inflammatory chemokines and cytokines, which in turn regulate the autoimmune response in the CNS. Although more research is clearly needed to directly link the changes in gut microbiome with neuroinflammation, focusing research on microbiota that produce beneficial metabolites with the ability to attenuate chronic inflammation systemically as well as in the CNS, can offer novel preventive and therapeutic modalities against a wide array of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.


inflammation; microbiome; microbiota; neurodegeneration; neuroinflammation


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