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Research Reveals Potential Regulator of Gut Bacteria Imbalance in MS Lab Model

February 9, 2021

A team of researchers from Germany, Spain, and Switzerland report that the immune messenger protein “IL-17” appears to be a key regulator of gut bacteria content and activity, and that this regulation contributes to susceptibility to an MS-like disease in mice. Mice with normal IL-17 had differences in gut bacteria from mice that were engineered to lack this protein. When mice lacking IL-17 shared cages with normal mice, their gut bacteria normalized and they became more susceptible to MS-like disease.  

This research contributes to the increasing evidence that gut bacteria play a key role in MS. These studies were partly funded by the National MS Society.

Want to participate in gut bacteria research? People with MS can see if they are eligible here: International MS Microbiome Study

Read more from Fierce Biotech

Read a scientific summary of the paper in Science Immunology

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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