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Altering the diet, a way to prevent autoimmune bone disease

Posted:  Friday, October 10, 2014

In recent years, numerous studies have illustrated the pivotal role played by the intestinal gut bacteria in the pathogenesis of diseases ranging from cancer to chronic inflammatory disorders such as multiple sclerosis. However, the mechanism of action has been poorly understood.

Now a recent study may have shed some light on this by showing how environmental factors like diet impact the composition of the gut bacteria and influence susceptibility to autoinflammatory diseases by playing a role in immune regulation. The results of this study have been published in Nature.

The study was done in a mouse model which carried a mutation in the gene Pstpip2 that leads to development of chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO) early on in life. Researchers found that changing the nutritional composition of the mice’s diet increased or decreased the numbers of the intestinal bacteria. One of the affected bacteria was Prevotella which has been implicated in causing osteomyelitis, arthritis, periodontal disease and other inflammatory disorders in humans.

The researchers found that a diet that limited the growth of Prevotella protected the mutant mice from osteomyelitis. The same diet also reduced the production of an immune molecule interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta). Earlier research has shown that IL-1 beta is associated with inflammation and osteomyelitis development in mutant mice. The researchers also found that dietary changes led to a limited supply of IL-1 beta in neutrophils.

To further test the role of the gut bacteria on osteomyelitis development, the researchers treated mice on the disease-promoting diet with a broad spectrum antibiotic cocktail. This resulted in a reduction in Prevotella as well as the intestinal levels of IL-1 beta. Consequently, fewer mice developed osteomyelitis.

The researchers also showed that transplantation of probiotic bacteria from healthy mice protected the at-risk, mutant mice from osteomyelitis.

Talking about the study, the researchers said, “The results suggest probiotics might provide a more targeted method for suppressing production of IL-1 beta and protecting against autoinflammatory diseases.”

This research provides insights about the hold these microscopic bacteria exercise over the immune system. Findings like these may enable one to tailor treatment strategies which simply alter gut microbial balance and reduce the risk of disease.

For study details:-Click Here!