Abstract: “Lung infections and smoking are risk factors for multiple sclerosis, a T-cell-mediated autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. In addition, the lung serves as a niche for the disease-inducing T cells for long-term survival and for maturation into migration-competent effector T cells. Why the lung tissue in particular has such an important role in an autoimmune disease of the brain is not yet known. Here we detected a tight interconnection between the lung microbiota and the immune reactivity of the brain. A dysregulation in the lung microbiome significantly influenced the susceptibility of rats to developing autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. Shifting the microbiota towards lipopolysaccharide-enriched phyla by local treatment with neomycin induced a type-I-interferon-primed state in brain-resident microglial cells. Their responsiveness towards autoimmune-dominated stimulation by type II interferons was impaired, which led to decreased proinflammatory response, immune cell recruitment and clinical signs. Suppressing lipopolysaccharide-producing lung phyla with polymyxin B led to disease aggravation, whereas addition of lipopolysaccharide-enriched phyla or lipopolysaccharide recapitulated the neomycin effect. Our data demonstrate the existence of a lung–brain axis in which the pulmonary microbiome regulates the immune reactivity of the central nervous tissue and thereby influences its susceptibility to autoimmune disease development.”

Hosang, L., Canals, R.C., van der Flier, F.J. et al. The lung microbiome regulates brain autoimmunity. Nature 603 : 138–144 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-04427-4.


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