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Immunosuppressive activities of GutMagnificTM –a probiotic product designed to rebalance the gut flora and modulate the immune system – in a model for multiple sclerosis

Kalling-Smith, Oskar (2020) BION03 20192
Degree Projects in Biology
Popular Abstract
Immunosuppressive activities of GutMagnificTM – a probiotic product designed to rebalance the gut flora and modulate the immune system – in a model for multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease, mediated by autoreactive T cells. These T cells specifically target neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) and destroy the surrounding myelin sheath leading to problems with movement, speech and other motor functions. The cause of MS is unclear as it likely stems from interacting genetic and environmental factors. In the past decade there has been a surge of evidence linking MS to a microbial imbalance in the gut, termed dysbiosis. Humans have co-evolved with the bacteria in our gut so that our... (More)
Immunosuppressive activities of GutMagnificTM – a probiotic product designed to rebalance the gut flora and modulate the immune system – in a model for multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease, mediated by autoreactive T cells. These T cells specifically target neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) and destroy the surrounding myelin sheath leading to problems with movement, speech and other motor functions. The cause of MS is unclear as it likely stems from interacting genetic and environmental factors. In the past decade there has been a surge of evidence linking MS to a microbial imbalance in the gut, termed dysbiosis. Humans have co-evolved with the bacteria in our gut so that our metabolism and digestion is entirely reliant on the synergistic relationship we have with them. In order for these beneficial microbes to reside in our gut, they have educated our immune system to recognise them as harmless and control the balance between immunosuppressive and inflammatory signals. When the gut bacterial population is imbalanced so are the inflammatory and suppressive signals, potentially leading to rampant inflammation.

One crucial mechanism that the gut bacteria modulate is the activation of T regulatory cells (Tregs), a special kind of immunosuppressive T cell capable of reducing inflammation. The immunomodulatory properties of the gut flora have marked it as an exciting target for the treatment of MS. Probiotics have been considered as a potential therapeutic option and have already proven effective when suppressing inflammation in multiple autoimmune diseases. Probiotics are defined as microorganisms that influence the intestinal flora and confer positive effects on human health. The present study focuses on a probiotic product (GutMagnificTM) consisting of 5 Lactobacilli stains and aims to evaluate its effects on immune cell populations and its overall ability to alleviate clinical signs of an experimental model of MS in mice. Another key focus was the differences in effects of both the disease and the probiotic treatment between male and female subjects.

Males and females have different predispositions when developing MS. MS is far more prevalent in women then in men, in fact over two thirds of recorded cases are women. Sex has also been shown to impact the activity and function of immune cells including Tregs, which may be crucial from a clinical point of view when tailoring therapies for each sex. We conducted 2 experiments that began with the immunization of male and female mice with an experimental model of MS followed by probiotic treatment with GutMagnificTM. Observations were made on the clinical signs of the disease. When the experiment was over analysis was performed of the spleens and Peyer’s patches of the mice. Probiotic treated mice exhibited significantly reduced disease scores paired with increased levels of Treg cells, compared to untreated control mice.

Differences were observed between female and male subjects, demonstrating a variation in the population of Tregs and other immune cells in both treated and untreated subjects. Interestingly the disease scores and disease progression was also different between the genders. Females experienced lower disease scores and slower progression of disease scores then their male counterparts. One possible explanation may be drawn form the data surrounding MS in humans. MS is much more prevalent in females however, males exhibit a faster acceleration of disease scores with more severe outcomes, which may partially explain why we observed much higher disease scores in males then in females.

To conclude, our findings support previous experimental literature that clearly demonstrates the effective immunomodulatory properties of probiotics regarding inflammatory diseases. The observed differences between male and female subjects demonstrate how gender influences the development and management of inflammatory diseases, suggesting the need to tailor probiotic treatments to the sexes. GutMagnificTM exerts desired immunomodulatory effects on an experimental model of MS and represents a potentially viable probiotic therapy for MS.

Master’s Degree Project in Biology, 60 credits, Department of Biology, Lund University and Immunebiotech AB, Lund Supervisor: Shahram Lavasani (Less)
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author
Kalling-Smith, Oskar
supervisor
organization
course
BION03 20192
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
language
English
id
9028714
date added to LUP
2020-09-09 13:30:09
date last changed
2020-09-09 13:30:09
@misc{9028714,
  author       = {Kalling-Smith, Oskar},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Immunosuppressive activities of GutMagnificTM –a probiotic product designed to rebalance the gut flora and modulate the immune system – in a model for multiple sclerosis},
  year         = {2020},
}