Short‐chain fatty acids and gut microbiota in multiple sclerosis

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

P. Melbye, A. Olsson, T.H. Hansen, H.B. Søndergaard, Annette Bang Oturai

BACKGROUND: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic immune mediated neurological disease of the central nervous system with a complex and still not fully understood aetiology. In recent years, the gut microbiota and fermentative metabolites like short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) have received increased attention in relation to the development and disease course of MS. This systematic review highlights and summarizes the existing literature within this field.

METHODS: A systematic search in PubMed was conducted on October 12th , 2017, to find published original studies on SCFAs and their impact on MS and the animal model of MS experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Furthermore, all studies analysing the gut microbiota in MS patients were included. A total of 14 studies were eligible for this review.

RESULTS: SCFAs have been shown to ameliorate the disease course in EAE, but no studies specifically addressing the role of SCFAs in human MS patients were identified. However, some investigations have shown that the microbiota of MS patients is characterized by a reduction in SCFA-producing bacteria.

CONCLUSIONS: Studies of EAE in mice suggest that SCFAs may play a role in the development and progression of EAE, but so far this has not been confirmed in humans. An aberrant gut microbiota in MS patients has been reported to be differentially abundant compared with healthy controls, although with little consistency in the bacterial taxa. Further investigations are required to elucidate the involvement of the gut microbiota and its metabolites, including potential beneficial effects of SCFAs, in the development and course of MS. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Book seriesActa Neurologica Scandinavica
Volume139
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)208-219
ISSN0065-1427
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 209357040