Commensal gut flora and brain autoimmunity: a love or hate affair?
Summary of "Commensal gut flora and brain autoimmunity: a love or hate affair?"
Multiple sclerosis (MS) and other chronic inflammatory autoimmune diseases represent major public health challenges in industrialised Western society. MS results from an autoimmune attack against myelin structures by self-reactive lymphocytes, which are normal components of the healthy immune repertoire. The nature of the triggers that convert the innocuous self-reactive lymphocytes into an autoaggressive phenotype is poorly understood. In the past, it was primarily suspected that pathogenic infections trigger MS. However, so far, none of the incriminated pathogenic microbes were firmly associated with the disease. A growing body of evidence in animal models of MS implicates the gut microbiota in the induction of central nervous system (CNS) autoimmunity. The mammalian gut harbors a diverse population of microbial organisms which are essential for our well being. There is an increasing understanding that the gut microbiota not only modulates the local immune functions but also affects the systemic immune system. We are only just beginning to understand the nature of the interactions of the gut microbiota with the host's immune system especially in the context of autoimmune diseases. This review will address the influence of intestinal microbiota on immune homeostasis and on the development of autoimmune responses at sites distal to the intestine with a particular emphasis placed on a discussion about CNS autoimmunity.
Department of Neuroimmunology, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Am Klopferspitz 18, 82152, Martinsried, Germany.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Acta neuropathologica
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22322994
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-012-0949-9
Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Process whereby the immune system reacts against the body's own tissues. Autoimmunity may produce or be caused by AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES.
An enduring attitude or sentiment toward persons or objects manifested by anger, aversion and desire for the misfortune of others.
A species of gram-negative bacteria in the genus HAEMOPHILUS, found in the normal flora of the human ORAL CAVITY and PHARYNX. It can cause SUBACUTE BACTERIAL ENDOCARDITIS; and BRAIN ABSCESS, among other conditions.
A psychoanalytic term meaning self-love.
Tissue NECROSIS in any area of the brain, including the CEREBRAL HEMISPHERES, the CEREBELLUM, and the BRAIN STEM. Brain infarction is the result of a cascade of events initiated by inadequate blood flow through the brain that is followed by HYPOXIA and HYPOGLYCEMIA in brain tissue. Damage may be temporary, permanent, selective or pan-necrosis.
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