Mayo Clinic researchers, along with colleagues at
the University of Iowa, report that a human gut
microbe discovered at Mayo Clinic may help treat
autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. The
findings appear in Cell Reports.
While probiotics have been used for millennia, there
are little data showing how a bacterium can provide
benefit against a disease outside the gut. This
research team tested gut microbial samples from
patients on a mouse model of MS. Of three bacterial
strains, they discovered that one microbe,
Prevotella histicola, effectively suppressed immune
disease in the preclinical model of MS.
“This is an early discovery but an avenue that bears
further study,” says Joseph Murray, M.D., a Mayo
Clinic gastroenterologist and senior author of the
The researchers found that P. histicola, which is
cultured from the human intestine, caused a decrease
in two types of pro-inflammatory cells, while
increasing families of cells that fight disease:
T-cells, dendritic cells and a type of macrophage.
“Recent MS microbiome studies have shown the lack of
Prevotella genus in patients with the disease and an
increase when patients were treated with
disease-modifying drugs,” says Ashutosh Mangalam,
Ph.D., first author and assistant professor of
pathology at University of Iowa Carver College of
Medicine, and principal investigator of the study.
“And it’s not just for MS, because this may have a
similar modulating effect on other nervous system
and autoimmune diseases.”
The research was funded by the U.S. Department of
Defense and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
For more information
Human Gut-Derived Commensal Bacteria Suppress CNS
Inflammatory and Demyelinating Disease