There is emerging evidence that the commensal microbiota has a role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), a putative autoimmune disease of the CNS. Here, we compared the gut microbial composition of 34 monozygotic twin pairs discordant for MS. While there were no major differences in the overall microbial profiles, we found a significant increase in some taxa such as Akkermansia in untreated MS twins. Furthermore, most notably, when transplanted to a transgenic mouse model of spontaneous brain autoimmunity, MS twin-derived microbiota induced a significantly higher incidence of autoimmunity than the healthy twin-derived microbiota. The microbial profiles of the colonized mice showed a high intraindividual and remarkable temporal stability with several differences, including Sutterella, an organism shown to induce a protective immunoregulatory profile in vitro. Immune cells from mouse recipients of MS-twin samples produced less IL-10 than immune cells from mice colonized with healthy-twin samples. IL-10 may have a regulatory role in spontaneous CNS autoimmunity, as neutralization of the cytokine in mice colonized with healthy-twin faecal samples increased disease incidence. These findings provide evidence that MS-derived microbiota contain factors that precipitate an MS-like autoimmune disease in a transgenic mouse model. They hence encourage the detailed search for protective and pathogenic microbial components in human MS.
Memory B Cells are Major Targets for Effective Immunotherapy in Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis. (if you haven’t read it give it a go)
They looked at the microbiome in MS twins and healthy twins and they exhibited comparable microbial community richness (alpha diversity). But if the MS was untreated apparently, people had more Akkermansia, which have been suggested to be regulatory.
Cekanaviciute E, Yoo BB, Runia TF, Debelius JW, Singh S, Nelson CA, Kanner R, Bencosme Y, Lee YK, Hauser SL, Crabtree-Hartman E, Katz Sand I, Gacias M, Zhu Y, Casaccia P, Cree BAC, Knight R, Mazmanian SK, Baranzini SE. Gut bacteria from multiple sclerosis patients modulate human T cells and exacerbate symptoms in mouse models. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Sep 11. pii: 201711235.
The gut microbiota regulates T cell functions throughout the body. We hypothesized that intestinal bacteria impact the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disorder of the CNS and thus analyzed the microbiomes of 71 MS patients not undergoing treatment and 71 healthy controls. Although no major shifts in microbial community structure were found, we identified specific bacterial taxa that were significantly associated with MS. Akkermansia muciniphila and Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, both increased in MS patients, induced proinflammatory responses in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and in monocolonized mice. In contrast, Parabacteroides distasonis, which was reduced in MS patients, stimulated antiinflammatory IL-10-expressing human CD4+CD25+ T cells and IL-10+FoxP3+Tregs in mice. Finally, microbiota transplants from MS patients into germ-free mice resulted in more severe symptoms of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and reduced proportions of IL-10+ Tregs compared with mice “humanized” with microbiota from healthy controls. This study identifies specific human gut bacteria that regulate adaptive autoimmune responses, suggesting therapeutic targeting of the microbiota as a treatment for MS.
Among the genera significantly increased in MS samples were Acinetobacter and Akkermansia, while one of the most significantly reduced genera in MS patients was Parabacteroides, and so they didn’t need to look at the untreated to see an Akkermansia effect, however again the over lap between detection of these bacteria in health and MS overlaps substantially.