Increased production of an anti-inflammatory molecule called interleukin (IL)-10, and suppression of a subtype of immune T-cells, may mean that a fatty acid called pentanoate is effective against inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), according to new research in mice.
The study, “The short-chain fatty acid pentanoate suppresses autoimmunity by modulating the metabolic-epigenetic crosstalk in lymphocytes,” was published in the journal Nature Communications.
Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) — fatty acids with less than six carbon atoms — are the major nutrients produced by bacterial fermentation in the gut. They have been shown to induce the differentiation of a subtype of immune cells called regulatory T-cells, and improve the gut’s barrier function, which may protect from inflammation and ease autoimmunity.
Work in mice suggested that food containing SCFAs may effectively treat severe immunological defects. However, they also may carry adverse side effects, such as tissue-specific inflammation and bacterial colonization of the gut epithelium (the gut’s surface layer) by Escherichia coli.
Now, a team from Germany, the U.S., and Israel evaluated whether the SCFA pentanoate may be a viable therapy for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. For this purpose, the investigators used the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) mouse model of MS, along with a range of molecular biology and imaging techniques.
The Multiple Sclerosis News Today forums are a place to connect with other patients, share tips and talk about the latest research. Check them out today!
Results first showed that, similar to SCFAs acetate, propionate, and butyrate, pentanoate was present in the gut of wild-type (normal) mice, but not of germ-free animals — a model to study the effects of gut microbes on gastrointestinal health.
The team observed that pentanoate blocked the proliferation of T helper (Th) 17 lymphocytes — key cells in tissue inflammation and destruction — and their production of IL-17A, a molecule implicated in chronic inflammation. This was associated with increased expression of the Il10 gene, which codes for IL-10, and suppression of most of Th17-associated genes.
In mice, pentanoate eased EAE severity, and reduced the number of immune T-cells expressing the cell surface markers CD4 and CD8 in the central nervous system (CNS) — brain and spinal cord. Pentanoate also lowered the levels of cells containing IL-17A and interferon (IFN)-gamma, an immune molecule implicated in MS.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?