Nov 18, 2019

Multiple sclerosis, the microbiome, TLR2, and the hygiene hypothesis

Autoimmunity Reviews
Nicholas J WaskoRobert B Clark


The pathophysiology of autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) involves a complex interaction between genetic and environmental factors. Studies of monozygotic twins suggest a significant role for environmental factors in susceptibility to MS. Numerous studies, driven by the "Hygiene Hypothesis," have focused on the role of environmental factors in allergic and autoimmune diseases. The hygiene hypothesis postulates that individuals living in environments that are too "clean" lack the requisite exposure to "immune-tolerizing" microbial products, resulting in poorly regulated immune systems and increased immune-mediated diseases. Interestingly, few studies have linked MS with the hygiene hypothesis. Similarly, although numerous studies have examined the role of the microbiome in autoimmune diseases, there has been no consistent documentation of disease-specific alterations in the MS microbiome. In this review, we present evidence that integrating the hygiene hypothesis and the microbiome allows for the identification of novel pathophysiologic mechanisms in MS. Our central hypothesis is that the microbiome in MS represents a "defective environment" that fails to provide normal levels of "TLR2-tolerizing" bacterial prod...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Autoimmune Diseases
Multiple Sclerosis
Regulation of Immune Response
Leukocyte Mediated Immunity

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